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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  October 21, 2011 2:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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computer adaptive tests, but only in grade -- oregon is allowed to use computer adaptive tests, but only in grade level. i want you to use these tests outside the grade level so you can get a real assessment of where the child is at. >> this gets into one of my favorite things as well. i have looked at the test results that parents are given for their kids, and it is not being able to test out of range or out of grade -- it's severely hinders the intermission the parents get. i would like for everybody to look at the reports that kids get across this nation and challenge you if you are not an educated to be able to tell whether that kid is doing well or not. i grew up under iowa basics, and my parents used to get the results from that, and have learned since then that the district was able to buy the
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results they wanted overall and help people out. but the one thing that really did was your report card came back, and if you were in fourth grade and you might be only reading at third-grade, second- month level. the parents could only be really upset or really happy to figure the kid's averaged to fear how this comes out. it does not happen under this testing. i would not mandate it, is that the report cards ought to come back to the parents did let them know what grade level that kid is that, whether it is below the one he is in now or above the one that he or she is in at the moment. somehow we need to allow that, and this has a way of doing that. i would hope that this could somehow be combined with what
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senator isakson and making a big point of earlier. again, of learning really where the kids are, all of them, not just some of them, and giving them a test that really tells the parents help their child is doing in conjunction with even iep's. i appreciate that we are going to have more discussion on this and it will not be voted on until we get back from lunch, because i believe senator isakson wants to make some comments. >> if the senator -- we have a vote going. >> are we going to vote on this? >> on the floor. we will continue discussion when we come back. i assure the senator will not be cut off. >> it will be a quick answer. does this allow out of level
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tests for kids with disabilities? >> yes. >> first, whether they're on grade level, you could test them, and then you could find out if they are below. what is good about this is -- and later i will put in an amendment -- i know we have a vote, but let's do this afterwards. >> the committee will stand in recess until 1:00, because i do not know what time the two top votes will come down. we will be back at 1:00. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> this is part of a very long markup session yesterday on rewrite of the no child behind bill. the hearing -- the committee will have an additional hearing before it reaches the floor on november 8. you can see the markup on our website. 2:50 on c-span2, we will have more. we also caught up with the capitol hill reporter. lyndsey layton is a national staff writer with "the washington post."
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she covered this session earlier this week. why does the senator wanted change the law? >> when it was enacted in 2002, it was an unprecedented reach into education by the federal government. this was a bipartisan plan. it was championed by president bush and the late senator kennedy. they argued that states that get federal money ought to be held accountable for results, and so for the first time states were required to past -- to test their kids come to set performance targets, and to work every year to meet those goals. in the ninth years since, schools, states, teachers -- they have complained that goals are unrealistic and that the sanctions, if they do not meet those goals, were draconian. there was a lot pressure to change law. >> what did the committee accomplish? >> it represents a serious retrenchment of the federal
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government and classrooms. no longer will the states have to set achievement targets for the kids. they still have to test them every year, but did not have to have goals for achievement. they do not have to meet any goals, will not face any penalties if the kids are not learning what educators think they should be learning, and also there is less cordially, senator harkin wanted some kind of teacher evaluation measure. he wanted to be able to tell good teachers from bad teachers and require the states decide how measure their achievement. that has been wiped out and there as well. worst% of the country's performing schools will face federal oversight. the left 5%, the lowest of teh lows, they will still be
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required for federal oversight, but for the majority of schools, the government is hands off. >> the obama administration had already moved ahead. why had they done? >> the administration was frustrated because this law should have been authorized four years ago and congress did not act, and there's all this pressure building up from the state say we cannot work with this law. help us. obama directed secretary of education arne duncan to issue waivers the state to relieve them from some of the burdens of all law. i think to date we have 39 states and poor rico and the district of columbia that have indicated they want out. the administration moved ahead with that, and that broke up the senate. they decided they did not want to be on the sidelines, they did not want the administration basically free riding along, so that is what we saw all this
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action all the sun after four years of inaction. , how likely is this new education measure to be approved by congress this session? >> that is a great question. i do not predict these things because it is hard to step up -- to tell. on the house side republicans have the 22 did this in piecemeal. only one of the bills passed the floor. i do not know how committed they are on taking on a comprehensive rewrite. we will have to see what happens in conference if this one gets passed on the senate floor. we will find out. >> lyndsey layton is a staff writer for the "the washington post." you can read her article at their web site. thanks a lot. the u.s. war in iraq is coming to an end. that announcement came from president obama a short while ago who said all u.s. troops
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will be withdrawn from iraq by the end of the year. it came after a video conference with iraq cost prime minister. officials have been involved in negotiations over whether to keep several thousand americans as a trained force, but those talks brought no agreement. here is the announcement from just a short while ago. [inaudible] >> good afternoon, everybody. as a candidate for president, i pledge to bring -- i pledged to
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bring the war in iraq to an end to strengthen national security and to strengthen american leadership are on the war called -- around the world. after taking office i took actions to remove all our troops by the end of 2011. the commander in chief insuring this successful strategy has been one of my national security strategies. last year i announce the end our combat mission in iraq, and to date we have removed more than 100,000 troops. iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country's 30. a few hours ago i spoke with the minister, and said the united states will keep its commended. he spoke of the determination of the iraqi people to force their own future. we are in agreement to move forward. today i can report that as promised the rest of our troops
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in iraq will come home by the end of the year. after nearly nine years, america's war in iraq will be over. for the next two months, our troops in iraq about tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. last american soldier will cross the border out of iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the american people stand united in our support for our troops. that is how america's military efforts in iraq will end. even as we mark this important milestone, we are also moving into a new phase in the relationship between united states and iraq. as of january 1 and in keeping with our strategic framework agreement with air, there will be a normal relationship between sovereign nations, and equal partnership based on mutual
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interests and mutual respect. into the's conversation the prime minister and i agreed that a meeting of the higher coordinating committee of the strategic from agreement will convene in the coming weeks, and i invited the prime minister to come to the white house in december. this will be a strong and enduring partnership with our diplomats and civilian advisers in the lead and will help iraqis strengthen institutions that are just and accountable. when will build new ties of trade and commerce and education that unleashes the potential of the iraqi people. we will partner and iraq that contributes to regional security and peace, just as we insist that other nations respect iraq's sovereignty. as i told the prime minister, we will continue discussions on how we might help iraq trained and equipped its forces, again, just
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as we are getting training and assistance to countries around war. there will be some difficult days ahead for iraq's, and united states will continue have an interest in an iraq that is stable, secure, and self- reliant. just as the iraqis have persevered through war, i'm confident they can build a future or the other history as the cradle of civilization. here at home, in the coming months, there will be another season of homecomings. across america, our service men and service women will be united with their families. today i can say that our troops in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. this december will be a time to reflect on all that we have been through in this war. i will join the american people and pay tribute to the more than 1 million americans who have served in iraq and we honor our
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many wounded warriors and the patriots and the iraqi and coalition partners who gave their lives for this effort. i would note that the end of war in iraq reflexed a larger transition. the tide of war is receding. the drop down in iraq allow us to refocus our fight against al qaeda and the chief -- and achieve major victories against its leadership. now as we removed our last troops from iraq, we're beginning to bring our troops home from afghanistan, where we have begun a transition to afghan security and leadership. when i took office roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in both these wars, and by the end of this year that number will be cut in half. make no mistake, it will continue to go down. meanwhile, yesterday marked the definitive evan and the quest the definitive and of the
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gaddafi regime in libya. today nato is working to bring this successful mission to a close. to sum up, the united states is moving forward from a position of strength. a long war in iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. the transition in afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home. as they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world, and as we welcome home our veterans, we will never stop working to give them and their families that care, the benefits, and the opportunities that they have aren't. this includes an listing our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation, creating opportunity and jobs in this country. after a decade of war, the nation that we need bill is the
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nation that we will build, and that our own, an america sees its economic strength restored. >> reaction from congress. buck mckeon -- remain concerned this full withdrawal will make that road tougher than it needs to be. from a democrat in new jersey, thanks to president obama for announcing the troop withdrawal from iraq from the end of the year. reporters heard from deputies security adviser dennis -- said iraqi officials expressed general appreciation for the work u.s. troops have done since 2001.
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>> thank you for being here this afternoon. we will continue with the briefing. i have with me the president's deputy national security adviser on my left, and on my right the vice president's national security adviser. they're here to take your questions about the announcement just made. yorur that, you can give v questions -- your questions on that subject, and then i will remain to take your questions. >> nine years complete withdrawal -- this is a victory
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for the united states -- >> one of the more poignant moments was when president obama congratulated prime minister maliki and the people of iraq for getting to this moment. and the president -- and the prime minister congratulate the president for the troops and what they have done. the president said what we are looking for is an iraq that is as secure, stable, and self reliance, and that is what we have here. >> specifically, long discussions covered issues of unity. has that issue been recalled -- resolved? >> the present preferred was for
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the best relationship for the united states going forward. that is what we have now as a result of the work of our commanding general of there, the ambassador, and what we have done of the course of these last three years is indicate -- the president indicated his not only commitment to fulfilling that agreement, but his willingness to hear out iraqis on what of relationship they want going forward. we talk about communities. the decision -- and the president will insist on our trips having what they need no matter where they are. the decision that you heard the president talk about today is reflective of his few and the prime minister's view of the kind of relationship we want going forward. relationship is a normal rush of that is based on a civilian presence in the lead, but also will have important security components as harker relationships diplomatic -- as
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our relationships around the world have -- jordan, egypt, other countries that have security components. we had exactly what we needed to protect our interests, and the iraqis feel the same. >> are you confident that the iraqi security forces are very well equipped to take on these responsibilities without any further training? >> we feel proud of the work that our guys have done, civilian and military, in training iraqis. they have worked together over the course of these last several years, not only trained together, but the ploy, a partner together, robustly, and as we have done this, over the course of the last seven or eight months, a full review of where we stand with iraqis, one assessment after another about the iraqi security forces came back saying these guys are ready, they are capable, these guys are proven.
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they're proven because they have been tested in a lot of the kinds of the tests they see going for. we feel good about that. >> even though they are coming home, major attacks continue in iraq. what prevented an agreement being reached from training? independent analysts said trading was essentials to get the troops in order. >> it is important to point out that we have the capacity to maintain trainers. the offers of security cooperation in iraq will have the capacity to train iraqis on the new kinds of weapons and weapon systems that the iraqis are going to buy, including a portly the f-16's just purchased just about a month ago.
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you will see opportunities in naval exercises, a part in 80's and had an increase in the air force training. security cooperation in -- with the iraqis that we have with allies are around the war. the suggestion that there's not going to be training is not accurate. [unintelligible] the main purpose the effort that we undertook over the course of not only the last several months, but also over the last several years, is the establishment of a normal that allows them in the region of a considerable
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unrest of the moment to chart the kind of secure future they want. that was the goal, not some kind of an arrangement around in unity. and getting this kind of coal, a filling -- fulfilling the circle of debt secured relationship, we got exactly what we needed. >> to the iraqis say that the same mission was accomplished? >> does this leave an open door for iran to exert influence in iraq? >> as he sat now in 2011, after years of the kind of united international pressure that they have seen over the last several years, that kind of robust outcry over the kind of activity that we saw announced last week as it relates to them not living
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up to their obligations under the convention to which they are party to predict the elements -- you're seeing and around that is weaker and more isolated. we do not need to exercise our influence on those matters to iraq. we frankly deed that as a matter of course through the united nations by laterally. so we are concerned about iran's and willingness to live up to obligations, be that on something as simple as protecting diplomats wherever they are serving. we of concerns about that, i do not have concerns about our ability to make sure the iraqis can exercise sovereignty they want. it is important to highlight one critical fact as we look at iraq's future. if you see the kind of increased production of iraq will production as usc of the next
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crest as you have seen the last few years, this is one indicator of that very few positive future so that the iraqis have in front of them. >> how can you be assured of the security of diplomats and contractors who will stay in iraq? >> it is something we are spending a great deal of time on, and we have insisted for our diplomatic presence -- we will maintain an embassy there. we have embassies around the world. we have to assume a basic amount of protections for our people, and that is what we have communicated to the iraqis. we continue to insist that the iraqis help us in protection of our diplomats. we will ensure the kind of standard protections of our diplomatic personnel, to include marine security details, but we will also make
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sure that working with contractors can have the kind of protection they need. >> even have an estimate at how many security contractors -- do you have an estimate of how many security contractors will be left behind? >> 4000, 5000, in the various forms of security that are left behind. we have three diplomatic posts, , another city, and in baghdad. we will continue to negotiate this with iraqis, but we will make sure we have the other kind of presence we need, both as it relates to their fixed site security, and their ability to move around. >> was this five or six years
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ago there was concern that civil war was going to break out what concerns do you have about how secure the sunnis or kurds will in this new sovereignty? >> what you see is that politics has taken hold in iraq, and they are figuring out how to resolve their differences through a political process. it is not always pretty, linear, but the work through their problems to the political system, and that has to get a lot of the fuel out of the sectarian problems. of course there continues to be a security challenge. if you go back to 2007, 2008, there were 1500 security incidents every week. now we're down to 100 per week. this has been sustained over the
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last couple of years. the bottom line is we think that because the iraqi security forces are increasingly competent and capable in dealing with internal security and because of the emergence of politics of doing business, the sectarian -- is unlikely to be lit again, the sectarian fuse. >> 32,000 wounded. was this war worth it? >> history will have to judge that. what we can say is that our troops have performed remarkably over that period of time, and our diplomats are doing the same. the result is that today we are in a place where iraq is emerging as a secure, stable, and self-allied country, and that was the goal. as of the rest of what that is up to history.
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>> can i ask a question on pakistan. was there any reassurance from the pakistanis that they would stop me haqqani network? >> the secretary bus trip was a high-level trip that included many of our high colleagues from the national security council. others in the national security council. we are appreciative of the secretary of leading this effort. secondly, the breadth of the delegation that the secretary led pakistan understand us _ not only the importance of the relation, but the importance we attach to our concerns about the concern is a tree should come not just in pakistan, but also in afghanistan. as it relates to a particular conclusion of the visits, we will leave that to to the secrey and her delegation.
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but the president is obviously appreciative that the secretary led the delegation and a delegation, in its makeup and seriousness underscores the strength of our conviction about these matters. >> the mechanics, for people watching and trying to see -- whether families are on for the holidays. how will this happen and break down? how people -- quickly will people get home and be in a responsible way? >> i will leave it to the pentagon to brief about it. but i will make one comment. i happen to be in iraq over the weekend and happen to see some of things general austin and his team are a section waiting on the ground. absolutely unbelievably powerful demonstration allow our, not only our strength and capacity, military strength and capacity, but also commitment to making sure that we do this the right way. so, we are seeing every piece of equipment every closely
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accounted for. it is being accounted for. it is being then assigned to where it will end up. a degree of care for this and scrutiny to this effort that i think, as with the rest of this effort, but all of us very proud and, frankly, very appreciative of what they are doing. >> a quick follow-up of libya. at the video that appears that, that the ban was alive, injured, dragged around and be enough -- gaddafi was alive and injured, then dragged around. after he was killed there was a lot of anger on the arab street about how it played out and now the u.n. is planning an investigating what happened. are there concerns about what happened on the ground in libya and are you going to back a u.n. investigation? >> bottom line is, this obviously has been a dynamic 24 hours. getting additional information ourselves about what exactly
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transpired. we are in very close contact with our nato colleagues and i know there are looking at is today, so i will not get out in front. we always have concerns about exactly what is happening in each of these situations. frankly, our concern for the situation in libya is exactly what the president took the kind of bold and decisive action he took several months back. but the fact that i have concerns does not lead me to want to get out in front of the facts, either. >> considering that you had a turkish troops having to chase kurds in iraq -- there has been a rise in violence inside iraq. what about it gives of the unit -- united states confidence you are leaving a more secure iraq's? >> the first thing i would do is this associate myself from the comments prepared two, at
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various times he had seen spectacular attacks across iraq. frankly, that is one of the techniques of some of the insurgent groups. we see they tried to do it once every several weeks or months to get attention. but the fact is, chuck, you can't say the numbers of attacks have gone up in iraq. it has gone dramatically down. as tony suggested, more than a tenfold, ab -- even 15-fold decrease in the course of the last couple of years. that is one indication of progress. the other, of course, is the capacity of the iraqi security forces. every study and assessment we saw in the course of the last several months came back with the same conclusion. these guys are very capable against the threat that as most present. 3, is the point tony made and the vice president has been critical in helping bring about, is politics has broken out in iraq and people are resolving
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the differences in the kind of political and democratic way that i think just a few years ago we all could have only hoped for, and obviously it gives us reason for great hope. >> the strategy in libya versus what we are seeing, the decisions made in iraq, versus the decisions that were made in yemen, for instance, fitting together in the obama doctrine? >> as tony said, historians will be busy laying out a doctrine. but he is very committed to making sure we remain secure. and the threats to our security are different in and it -- every country. in fact, we have to be nimble enough to address those concerns with the ability that allows us to confront them but not get bogged down with any particular kind of threat. what we are seeing is a more dynamic threat environment. so, again, i will let the historians, the theoreticians
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lay down with the doctrine is but having worked now for the president for about five years, he does not take anything as a serious leg as he does, knowing what the threats are, identifying them, and then bringing overwhelming power to bear to neutralize those threats. that is going to be different in different countries. i think as you have watched over the last couple of years, he has not been bound up by a particular ideology, but rather bound up specifically by his interest in making sure we neutralize the threats. >> can you explain to some of the critics of this decision how the administration will ensure none of the progress will be rolled back? >> i think the president indicated in his remarks, what we have seen is tremendous progress over the last several years by the iraqis. you see tremendous capability, not only in their ability to
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carry out security operations but also in their ability to carry out democratic and political operations, which is to say, they are much more interested frankly in a political resolution to their ongoing disputes. the other thing is we also have to recognize that that the president laid out in his speech in 2009 down at camp lejeune, we set a very clear set of objectives -- and iraq that it is secure, stable, and self- reliant. that is exactly what we have. our ability to maintain a robust and diplomatic presence there, our ability to maintain ongoing training efforts with the iraqis, all of that will contribute to our ability to work with our iraqi colleagues to ensure that they can maintain the great gains they have made. but i also think the lesson of the arab spring it is also quite important, which is that
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representative governments that listen to their people and that conduct elections are ultimately going to be much more secure. i think in that regard, the iraqis have a leg up on a very dynamic situation. >> i think it is important to look back over the last three years, the president said he would do a number of things and he has done every single one of them -- at every juncture in iraq security has not gone backward. we started out we had 150,000 american troops in iraq, we said we would be out of the cities in the summer of 2009, ending the not get worse, they got better. by december 2010 we said we would end a combat mission and get down to 50,000 troops, and we moved forward. the president has committed repeatedly to both fell in the security agreement and bring all of our troops home at the end of this year and we are on track. as we discussed, security incidents have gone down, not
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up. iraqi security forces have gone up and not down and politics has become the way to do business in iraq. for all of those reasons, we already have a track record to suggest that the security of iraq and move forward. >> has the u.s. scene uptick and violence are around the time of transition? >> what we have seen our efforts of extremists -- extremas use this period of dynamism and train to take advantage of the situation and to threaten our guys and the iraqis. what you are seeing is especially over the last couple of months, because of the great work of general austin and our troops, less and less successful in their doing that. frankly, i think you are seeing more and more frustration on behalf of iraqis because oftentimes what these extremist groups are doing when they are trying to threaten our troops is they are killing more iraqis.
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so, that all contributes to the kind of developments that make us feel as positively as we do about the situation we find ourselves in. but again, just going back to chuck's question, we will remain vigilant on this, as we have threats from southeast asia to north africa. the bottom line is, not only is it we have done what we said we would do in iraq, the president has done exactly what he said we would do from iraq, the horn of africa, across the arabian peninsula, throughout south asia and all the way to southeast asia. so, we will stay on the offense on these set of threats, and also come in so doing, take advantage of the great opportunities out there at the moment. so, we feel very good about it, as i think you heard the president suggests. >> connie, over here.
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>> is the u.s. considering selling or leasing drones to turkey against the pkk, and helping iraq to defend its airspace? >> on iran, the president has been very clear about what we expect from the iranians. i am not sure how you are characterizing might view of the iranian threat, but i just want to be very clear. we have big expectations that the iranians live up to their obligations in the international community, be that in human rights, nuclear responsibility, or be that even as something as simple as protecting diplomats. secondly, as it relates to turkey, obviously as you saw the president expressed significant concern about the attacks on southeastern turkey
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earlier this week. we are awe is sustained in close touch with our turkish allies but i did not have anything specific to announce right now. relating to iraqi air sovereignty, we will continue to work with the iraqis as it relates to the full range of security and training opportunities and the needs of the ss. we can do that fully in the context of formal -- fully normalized relationships as the president laid out a couple of minutes ago. >> the video conference, the poignant moment you spoke about -- it does not sound like the conclusion of the video conference was surprised. the president was preparing obviously for the conference. can you talk about why it was a poignant morning and what he talked about concerning his reflections. >> maybe tony has something more poetic than i do. but i just said i thought it was a poignant exchange because of what appeared to need to be
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genuine appreciation on behalf of the iraqi prime minister for all of the sacrifice. in fact, he called out all of the sacrifice that our troops and their families have, and our diplomats and families, have put on the line for iraq's future. that is not new to me as it relates to the president of the united states. he obviously has live best quite vividly on numerous occasions. but i just thought it was an important moment where the two leaders expressed their view that having set out on this effort about three years ago, now they feel like they have got into a very important point where they can take this next that, pursuant to this agreement, but also continue forward with the kind of robust partnership that i think they recognize our troops and diplomats have built over the last couple of years. >> does the president support
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the turkish incursion into northern iraq to? >> i am not going to get into the specifics on this, but i will say we obviously worked very closely with our turkish friends about their ongoing such attacks. we obviously designated a certain of the kurdish forces as designated foreign terrorist organizations. i will not get into it anymore than that. i will see what the coming days and weeks of all but we will remain in close contact with our service allies. >> you made reference at one point to iraqi oil. iraq and libya are very wealthy countries. will the u.s. asked for financial reimbursement from iraq and libya and what you see as future u.s. relations with syria now against hamas question and i can you repeat the last question -- syria and hamas? >> as for asking for
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reimbursement, i did not anticipate that. as it relates to syria and hamas, we have been clear about what we expect from syria. we will see whether after now several months of allowing themselves to fall into deeper and deeper isolation, whether they made the right choice. but i think the president has been quite clear on this, as has the secretary of state. >> what about hamas in regards to the prisoners 1? >> i think jay has talked a lot of the prisoner remarks the last couple of days so i associate with his remarks. >> i question is a follow-up. are you offering new assistance to iraq or to libya in light of the announcement. if not, why not? >> we have a very robust security assistance program with the iraqis. it is textured and includes the kinds of things like military sales we saw with been f-16
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purchase, but other pieces of it. that is a matter of public record. it is passed every year by congress. so, we anticipate that being a very important part of this robust and textured important security relationship going forward. as it relates to the libyans, we obviously continue to work with the tnc about what we expect from a representative government. working with our partners and allies to indicate what kind of support we will provide in the future. but there is no significant changes in our assistance since yesterday. >> had debriefed any members of congress prior to his decision, and -- has he briefed any members of congress prior to this decision, and if not, why? >> we did brief members of congress. in number of us on the phone with senate and house leadership and other members to brief them on the president's
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conversation with the prime minister and to brief them on what the president intended to say. of course, over long over these many weeks and months we have been in regular contact with members of both houses. on iraq, what we were doing, and what we were planning, and the main point is that the president all along has been absolutely consistent in saying what he would do and doing what he said he would do, and that is where we all -- are today. it was the speaker's office on the call? -- >> was the speaker's office on the call? was involved in that? >> yes. >> protection for embassies, how many troops will be sent there to protect embassies? >> there will be no troops to provide security to embassies other than the standard marine security detail, which we have at embassies and every country in the world. other than the marine contingent that provides security, there will be no troops kept in iraq
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for security of the embassies. for the security of our embassy and two consulates, we will contract with security contractors to provide -- as i said again -- fixed site security as well as movement security when our guys go out and do their job in the country. >> [inaudible] >> the president is working this and secretary geithner and summer -- we will let them work on that. >> the last two. >> the president is emphasizing the troops coming home by the end of the year. how many should expect to be redeployed may be in afghanistan? >> you heard the president's remarks underscore we are continuing in afghanistan but the number of u.s. detroit --
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deployed overseas has been robustly reduced. as it relates to the specific deployment schedules, i will leave that to the pentagon to brief you through the specifics of that. the fact of the matter is given that we are looking at dramatically fewer u.s. troops deployed overseas as a result of these, you can't extrapolate you will see a less robust rotational effort. but again, i will leave the pentagon to come in. >> last one for these guys, and i will stay. >> thank you. i would like to ask both gentleman, the withdrawal of troops even by those who support it, nonetheless is questioned about given -- giving the exact number of the troops leaving and when they will be gone, like telegraphing a message to possible enemies. what do you say about that
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criticism? >> i will try first. security agreements negotiated and signed in 2008 by the bush administration stipulated this date -- december 31, 2008 -- at the end of the military presence. so, that has been in law now or been enforced now for several years. so, it is difficult to rebut the proposition that this was a known date. by the same token, i think individual decisions that our commanders are making are informed by their assessment as it relates to individual movements and security related there with, and we feel very good and frankly very appreciative of their efforts in that regard. >> no effort to contact the office of -- >> there was a call to many
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members of congress from both houses, including leadership. of over both invited. both parties. absolutely. >> the only thing to add dd other dates were well known in advance. it was well known we would be out of the cities and the summer of 2009 and the situation improved. it was long known we were going to change our mission in the summer of 2010, ended the combat mission, and get down to 50,000 troops. again, security continued to improve. and there is something very important about the united states keeping its commitments. it sends a very strong and powerful message throughout the region inside iraq and countries outside of iraq. >> thanks, guys. >> from the white house earlier today after the president announced that the u.s. will withdraw all forces from iraq by the end of the year after
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failing to reach an agreement with the iraqi government that would have left several thousand troops there for special operations and training. all of those events later today in our program scheduled. you can find them as well indices been video library. a number of comments, reaction from republican presidents of candidate mitt romney which states -- whose deyton reads in part -- "president obama's this counseling -- astonishingly failure to secure and orderly transition unnecessarily put at risk the victories won their through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of american men and women." nancy pelosi, democratic leaders saying "i commend the president for a promise made a promise kept honoring the u.s.-iraq security agreement and the wishes of the american people to bring all of our troops home by the end of this year." you can find more at twitter.co m/c-span. coming up this evening, a salute to former senate majority leader kansas senator bob dole.
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other spiegel -- speakers will include health and human secretary -- health and human services survey kathleen sebelius and pat roberts. political coverage coming up tonight. ron paul at a town hall meeting and i was city, iowa. covered at 9:00 eastern and it will be over on c-span2. earlier today, the council on foreign relations in washington, the armed services committee chair of the senate, carl levin, echoed the blunt message but obama administration delivered in as, bob, saying pock the stand could lose an ally if it fails to take this -- pakistan could lose an ally if it fails to limit the tax from the haqqani network. he spoke and took questions for about an hour. >> a reminder to turn up yourself of and this is an on
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the record briefing. >> now you tell me. an honor for me but similar to introduce senator carl levin, senior senator from the great state of michigan. one of the foremost voice is in the senate on foreign affairs and one of the voices in my tenure as overseas for abc that i listened to most intently. he knows his stuff well. today, talking about afghanistan and pakistan -- senator carl levin was in afghanistan and pakistan just in august. in any other year it would give us enough to talk about what this year there are headlines every 24 hours. i have the privilege -- privilege of asking him about the events in the past 24 hours in libya as well. i am sure you have questions along the lines on this chapter and further chapters to come in that country. a privilege for me to be here and introduced the senator. he will make a few more -- remarks and then go on to questions. [applause] >> that is my staff down here,
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by the way. [laughter] >> good morning, everybody. it finds for inviting me back to the council on foreign relations. your work makes a significant contribution to our national discourse and the most pressing on policy issues of our day, and i am always glad to join with you in discussing those issues. if i kind of knock off either during my own speech or questions, don't take it personally -- if i kind of nod off. the senate was in until about 1:30 a.m. last night and there are some reporters here who usually cover the senate, and i've question for you. where were you at 1:30 a.m. last night? last october i came here to discuss president obama's decision to begin reducing u.s. troop presence in afghanistan.
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that a decision of the president was under attack in various quarters. i felt that the deduction -- the reduction of our forces, which was supposed to begin last july, and did it began last july, was vitally important, because it would provide a strong incentive for the afghans to take responsibility for their own security, which, in turn, is essential to the success of our mission, and that mission is to help build a stable afghanistan, able and willing to fight off attempts by the taliban to retake control. two months ago, as jim said, i made my sixth trip to afghanistan. afghan, u.s., and other coalition forces are making significant military progress. security is improving in the south, and our military commanders are increasingly
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focused on the east where the insurgent threat remains resilience, particularly the threat from the haqqani network operating out of safe havens in pakistan. the capabilities of the afghan national security forces are growing both in quantity and quality. afghan army and police are almost 50,000 men stronger than when we met here last year. afghan forces are conducting a greater proportion of the missions and are increasingly in the lead. just this week, "the new york times" reported that afghan troops led a lengthy, intends operation to clear insurgents from a key supply route in a province. we are succeeding in training the afghan army and other security forces to a higher level of effectiveness. and the afghan local police program has shown initial
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success. in that program, our special operations forces live with and trained afghan, local afghans -- and that is important -- that is selected by the village elders. their goal is to defend their own villages against the insurgents. finally, transition of secure the responsibility is moving forward -- security responsibility is moving forward as afghan forces have taken the lead in several areas. afghan leaders continue to show they understand the urgency of preparing for afghan security forces taking the lead on security throughout afghanistan in 2014, a date set by president obama and karzai, a date endorsed by the international coalition. i have long believed that the taliban's worst nightmare is and afghanistan secured by a strong and effective afghan forces that
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have the support of the afghan people. that nightmare is becoming the taliban's reality. this transition to afghan control does not mean that the united states will abandon afghanistan. the strategic partnership agreements being negotiated between the united states and afghanistan will play an important role in demonstrating to the afghan people and the neighbors of afghanistan that the united states intends to remain engaged in afghanistan and the region. now, of course, significant challenges remain. and if they are not effectively address, they could undermine security gains achieved at a great cost. first, the government of afghanistan needs to increase its legitimacy with the afghan people. it needs to improve government, improve services, and the corruption, improve inclusiveness, transparency, and
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in hear it -- and adherence to the rule of law. we should also not ignore the fact there has been some progress even in those areas. for instance, more than 2 million afghan girls are in school today compared to almost none in 2001. infant mortality has fallen rapidly, and access to health care has expanded. surely, there is a long way to go. while we encourage and pressure the afghan government to provide good government, we cannot guarantee that. only the afghans can do that. hopefully the lessons of the arab spring have reached afghanistan. leaders who failed to deliver accountable and transparent governance lose their legitimacy and they are more and more funding that their political survival is at risk.
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even if the president karzai governance does not succeed without security, the greatest threat to security and afghanistan and the focus of my remarks this morning is that the threat posed by the safe havens that harbor in surgeons across the border in pakistan. the haqqani network in particular has used its sanctuary in pakistan to launch deadly attacks on coalition forces in afghanistan. attacks by the operatives of the network include the attack on the hotel intercontinental in kabul in june that killed 21 people and the attack just last month on the u.s. embassy. the threat emanating from these safe havens is nto new. we have known about it for years
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and we repeatedly pressed the pakistanis to act. i have seen personally how pakistan's government has stalled and dissembled on this issue. i have repeatedly, personally urged the president, the prime minister, and the general, and the pakistani army chief of staff, in hearings both here and in washington to act to eliminate these terrorist sanctuaries. typical of these experiences was the pakistani response during my august visit. i raised the issue of safe havens in pakistan. when we asked what the military had not gone into the area to eliminate these save havens, we heard the same excuses. about how the pakistani army was already over-committed
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elsewhere. i then pressed prime minister gilani to explain why. if pakistan for whatever reason can or will not clear out these safe havens, why is it that senior pakistan officials have not at least publicly condemned the deadly cross-border attacks by the haqqanis? prime minister gilani said his government had publicly condemned these attacks. but he backed down when i asked him to provide examples of these public statements. i said, "send me the clipping." he said, "well, they are lower level officials who make those statements." what has been apparent for years is that pakistan's military intelligence, the isi, remains
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in contact with the haqqani network and provide support to this group. even as in surgeons engaged in attacks against our forces. the u.s. ambassador recently said in connection with the attack on the u.s. embassy that there was evidence linking the haqqani network to the pakistani government. admiral mullen's testimony last month before my committee that the haqqani network acts as an arm of the pakistani isi was a sharp declaration by our top military officer who is known as a friend of pakistan. we owe it to our military, the men and women who put on the uniform of the united states, that when we send them into harm's way, that we challenge
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pakistan over its support for the extremist groups that are attacking our troops and afghan troops and civilians from their own pakistan territory. it is simply unacceptable for the united states to spend its blood and treasure so afghanistan does not once again become a breeding ground for militant extremists while pakistan protect terrorists who cross the border to attack us. pakistan cannot evade its responsibility over its role in allowing and supporting these attacks. at the least, pakistan needs to condemn the attacks of the haqqanis in pakistan, and pakistani officials must end their denial of the plain truth. the head of the isi called the testimony baseless and denied the haqqani network was even in
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pakistan and claimed pakistan had not provided the haqqanis a penny or single bullet. the president wrote recently about the losses it to pakistan has suffered from extremist groups. then on terrorizing the pakistani people, but he failed to mention, much less condemn, the attacks that haqqani and taliban extremists are conducting against our forces in afghanistan. so what actions are open to us to correct the situation? if pakistan will not take on that the threat from the haqqanis based in pakistan who attack our forces, then we should be prepared to take steps to defend our troops. it is consistent with
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established principles of international law of the united states to defend itself and to defend afghanistan against cross-border attacks by insurgents based in pakistan and to respond to those attacks. the recent report that a haqqani coordinator was killed during a drone strike in at the headquarters of haqqanis if true is an example of the kind of action that is overdue. we have the right to target not only forces and those targeting our forces across border, but to target the people controlling those forces as well. secretary leon panetta has said the message that the pakistanis need to know is that we are
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going to do everything that we can to defend our forces, and when we do that, i predict that he will have strong support and bipartisan support in the u.s. congress. we should inform pakistan that it should not expect to normalize its relationship with the u.s. so long as it provides safe havens for violent extremist groups or uses terrorism as a proxy against other countries. we may not be able to persuade pakistan that its activities are counterproductive for its own security and stability and for the security and stability of the region, but we must let them know clearly, as secretary clinton did yesterday, that this is a show stopper to a normal relationship with the united states. there is also evidence that the pakistanis have interfered with
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attempts to achieve reconciliation in pakistan, obstructing peace talks unless they can exercise control over the taliban groups involved and control over the substance of the talks. we should be clear with the pakistanis, the instruction of reconciliation efforts in afghanistan also an impediment. also, it is long past due that the united states to call the haqqani network for what iandit it is. the haqqanis should be listed alongside the pakistan taliban and al-qaeda as foreign terrorist organizations. keeping the haqqanis off of that list has not encouraged the
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group to join in reconciliation process or prevented the isi from continuing its support for the haqqanis. designating the haqqanis as a terrorist organization would send another message, that we will respond to the support of this extremist organization. no one wants the u.s.-pakistan relationship to return to the early 1990's. know where are the effects of that disengagement felt more strongly than in our bilateral military to military relations. a whole generation of mid-level pakistani officers had no contact with their u.s. counterparts through such programs as the international military education and training program. the absence of these connections has contributed to anti-
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americanism among those now senior pakistani officers. admiral mullen was right. to say that a flawed relationship with pakistan is better than none at all. we do need to stay engaged with pakistan. we do need to try to act together when our interests align. we should attempt to understand pakistan's motivations and the concerns even when we disagree. and we should seek to build a bilateral relationship based on our shared interest in promoting democratic values, security, and stability in pakistan and throughout the region. but in continuing th to find ways to improve the relationship, we must also speak clearly. pakistan's foreign ministeforeia
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rabbani khar recently said that if the united states persists in allegations about the isi- haqqani connection, the united states "will lose an ally." our response should be that if the only option that pakistan presents us is a choice between losing an ally and continuing to lose our troops, then we will choose the former. again, my thanks for the invitation, and i would be happy to answer your questions. thank you. [applause] >> thanks very much.
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have a seat. so much to talk about on pakistan and afghanistan. almost just to get it out of the way, if you will let me take that short diversion before we get back to the afghanistan- pakistan region. an early and vocal opponent of the iraq invasion. people are making comparisons to what happened in libya to what happened in iraq. join nato air operation, cooperation with rebels on the ground. is that a fair comparison to make? is this a policy template for the u.s., something that is reviving the debate? should we get involved in syria? we know the reasons why that would be more difficult. is this a new policy template that we can apply to other countries? could syria be a country like
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that? >> i think it is a template. it does not easily fit s yria. i wish it did. syria has a dictator as libya did. the reason i think it is a template is, number one, it was an operation that had international support. in the arab league, the united nations. secondly, it was not led by us. but we made a significant contribution to its success. third, it showed that nato can still be effective it. i think that is very important. nato is the one alliance in the world that has some worldwide
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impact. it can have impact in other places other than its own area. so i think there are real important strengths from lessons to be learned. i give our president a lot of credit for the thoughtfulness to which he approached this issue, insisting that there be leaders , that others take the lead, and that it had international support. of the reasons for its success, you can attribute to the. plus the extraordinary way in which modern technology was used by the people, first and foremost, in libya with social networking, and secondly, by the technology that was used militarily to have a real impact without putting boots on the ground which is something we need to avoid if we can.
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all of those factors, all of those aspects are really important, i believe. in syria, you do not have international support for action and you surely do not have support in the arab world for action. those are important factors that contributed to the success of libya loud. >> one other point that struck me as you watch those videos of muammar gaddafi and his sons killed and learned evidence this morning that he was alive when he was taken. of the government claims he was shot in the crossfire. it seems difficult to believe. to watch that happen, what does this say about the ntc's ability to run a government fairly and justly if the immediate reaction under the umbrella of nato protection and execution of the leader and his
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sons? >> i do not think it was a summary execution. i do not know enough. i doubt that our briefers know enough. i do not know if he was caught in a crossfire. we will know more about that perhaps as of today's move on. we do not know an awful lot. they are not gelled, and i do not know if it is clear yet what direction they will take. there is the risk that they will move in the wrong direction, but there is a lot of evidence that there will be the potential of the government that will respect the rule of law and honor at least a far greater extent than their predecessors the human rights of their people, and all
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we can do is do everything we can to contribute in the right direction. with the international community that was so important in support of this effort, we put as much -- we lean on the new government so they moved in the right direction. >> ok, pakistan. admiral mullen got some grief from his comments, some saying that he went too far because of calling the haqqani network a variable arm of the isi. do you believe that? are they looking the other way and not doing enough? you believe they are actively supporting. >> they are. there is active support as well as allowing a safe haven to exist. there are intelligence reports and other direct support. my opening statement that
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morning that admiral mullin appeared in front of us was very, very similar to what he was saying. and others in our government, it was not as if what he was saying was so new but it was sharper than what the previously said and was covered very, very well. he said exactly what he meant to say. i think a slight move away from that that we saw from the white house spokesman is not nearly as important or significant as what he said. >> in my own experience there, you see secretary clinton on the ground. something about the snake in the backyard does not only by your neighbor. the point being, these groups are going to threaten you, and the pakistani government. this state of denial in the
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country because from the top levels of government to taxi drivers, when you ask them about attacks from the taliban, they say it is probably the americans. that denial seems to infiltrate a very influential people. do in your experience do pakistani officials and military leaders get the threat that they can be in those cross hairs? do they get that point? >> they clearly get the point that terrorists threaten them, because terrorists do threaten them. they have taken huge losses domestic and internal. i do not think they need to be taught or understand the lesson about -- >> but i am talking about an existential threat to their power. >> i think terrorism can be an existential threat to pakistan
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as a matter of fact. and what it produces and the reaction to it, if not strong, can be an existential threat. what they do not really except, obviously, is it that they are condoning the use of their land as a safe haven for terrorism and the relationship between part of their intelligence and the haqqani network as well as the afghan taliban. that represents a threat to their relationship with us. i do not think they fully understand that. the denial that you refer to is that the denial of what the facts are both in terms of the relationship between the isi and between the facts that the haqqanis are located there. for there top officials to say
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that they are not even here in pakistan is kind of the epitome of denial. what they have done is bought time. they've tried to buy peace. they have tried to take a group which can threaten them, the haqqanis, and buy them off by saying we will let you operate from here and get you some support if you focus on the folks across the border and leave us alone. that is what they have tried to do. will that end up putting them? it may or it may not -- will that end up buying them? -- biting thtem? it may or may not. >> what with that choice look like?
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-- what would that choice look like? what would our situation look like if we chose to end or significantly reduced the relationship? how do you withdraw from afghanistan? the drawdown in afghanistan is set for the next couple of years. there was some strong opposition to it particularly among some of the republicans who thought it was a mistake to set these dates in order to focus the afghan government on its responsibility and promote the chances of success because it is the taking of responsibility of their own security, an army in afghanistan which is more effective and larger. its is the best hope of defeating the taliban in afghanistan. that is not your question.
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>> what does it look like -- >> in afghanistan? >> in afghanistan and pakistan. what does policy look like without help? >> much more difficult without pakistan's help. it is not possible. it would be much more difficult. a much smaller number of u.s. troops and support of the continuing support of an afghan army that is stronger and better equipped, better trained, better led. hopefully with a government that is moving in the right direction to end corruption, there is nothing that we can guarantee. only if they can do that themselves. i think it is in their own self interest as they respond to the needs of their people that more effectively than they have.
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that is a matter of very clear self interest on the part of any government including the afghan government. so the next major decision in terms of our presence will be the long term strategic relationship which is now being discussed and negotiated and also the way in which the reduction of our troops will continue. at what pace, between the end of next year when all of our forces, all the additional 33,000 forces will have been removed, and the reduction of the 70,000 forces that would be the removal of the 33,000 forces. that would take place between
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2012 and 2014 when the turnover responsibility for the whole country would take place. that does not mean all of the 70,000 troops would be removed by any stretch of the imagination and does not determine the pace of the removal during that time. those are issues that need to be resolved through negotiations. it is really important for a number of reasons that it occur. the afghan army is the only national entity that is respected. you have an enemy that you detest. those two elements, an afghan army that has got public support and an enemy that is hated it should be able to be enough if that army is strong enough and well equipped enough to provide security. but again, it will be up to that government.
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>> you are saying that our afghan military presence will become our fourth hold against pakistan. if we make good on that threat -- is it an empty threat? knowing that security and afghanistan is an extremely depending, that if it becomes an unembarrassed support for those networks but let happen becomes more of a matter of policy for them. how messy does that look? is the u.s. really ready to follow through on that threat. >> what do we do about the haqqanis? how do we address the cross- border threat now? there, we have begun to use drones successfully against some haqqani leaders.
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appropriately. if this report is accurate, because i am not allowed to say things that are still classified. it can have a real effect. secondly, we have under international law the right to respond to attacks by artillery. i think we will. if we listen to the report of what the secretary of state said yesterday in pakistan, fairly soon, we will see a more direct response or effective response and a stronger response to those attacks across the border against us. her words yesterday were pretty clear, that the international effort to squeeze the haqqani network on both sides of the border "will be more apparent
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that that is ahead." the fact that you have this a visit by our officials to pakistan yesterday is the indicator of a clear statement, first of all. i hope that the pakistanis will see that it is not acceptable for them to be a safe haven for attacks on us. secondly, i think it is a statement to them that we have the international right to respond to attacks from their country across the border, and that we intend to do so. >> time to open it up to questions. wait for the microphone, and introduce yourself, name and affiliation. we should of close to a half hour.
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standing in the far back. >> thank you very much. we have nine hours of live broadcast between pakistan and afghanistan. my question is given the tension and distrust between islamabad and kabul, washington it is expected to withdraw complete by 2014. thank you. >> you are asking what does the u.s. -- >> what is expecting when it withdraws troops from afghanistan? >> what will be the role of islamabad -- >> what washington is expecting of islamabad given the tension and distrust. >> i think it is the same thing as what we expect now.
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number one, that their country will not be used as a safe haven. number two, that they will not interfere with the efforts of a three integration of the taliban to end their attacks on troops and government and citizens inside afghanistan. and hopefully play a constructive role in those discussions. they obviously have an interest. that is not the issue. pakistan clearly has an interest in what goes on in afghanistan because it can have an effect on them. from their view, it has an impact in terms of their security. so there are going to play a role and will play a role. the role that we are not going
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to accept is the role of the obstructing those discussions which can take many forms. one of the forms it has taken is not permitting taliban living in pakistan but who are afghanis to go back to afghanistan to participate in those discussions. the want to control the discussions, the negotiations, and they are not going to be able to do that. can they control them? they are not going to be able to control them. it is not acceptable that they frustrate them taking place. i do not see 2014 as being a point of change between our expectations of what we expect from islamabad. i just do not see that.
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things will change in 2014 in terms of the security control in afghanistan and us becoming much less of a security force in afghanistan. id will not be the end of our presence. that will be negotiated. it will be far reduced from the number of troops that we have now and far reduced from that 70,000 level that we will have at the end of next year. >> in the four wrote. >> thank you. i wanted to change tack a little and ask you about the subject that was probably keeping you on the senate floor last night, our current budget situation. military leaders have spoken out about agencies because they recognize the value of preventive action because it is far less expensive to engage around the world instead of
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military terms. as we find ourselves as a result of the budget control act under a security cap where the budget has pitted against the department of defense as we have decreasing resources to work with, i am curious as to what your thoughts are as how we get a mixed right between investment through civilian agencies and our military during times of the increase in resources? >> number one, recognizing the importance of those efforts that you referred to. they can not be shortchanged. i thought secretary gates was a spectacular in the area cannot recognizing the importance of those activities outside the defense department -- in that area, recognizing the importance of those activities outside the defense department. this will be determined by revenues.
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that is the battle. i know it is being fought right now, whether or not the republicans are going to be able to move away from the rigid, ideologically driven position which is at the tea party position which is so far dominating the republican party bethis era, that they're not any additional revenue. in the absence of additional revenue, those of across-the- board cuts take place in the the defense area, and that is going to be the battleground. so what will determine the level of support for the areas that you have a major concern in and rightly so will not be the relationship between funding between the defense through the
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economic support, the state department support, and those other programs. it will be whether or not the republicans see that you cannot do serious deficit reduction without additional revenues. you cannot do it. the only way you can do it is by decimating programs across the board in a-, irrational way where the triggers pulled are then implemented without any prioritization. just one other thought about that is that the -- i believe it at that. my answers have been too long. i look at my staff back there. >hey, brent. >> thank you for that powerful
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and comprehensive statement. there is one element of the relationship with pakistan which you alluded to but i was like a little more, and that is pakistan's attitude toward the united states and feeling abandoned in the 1990's. that is not the first time they have felt abandoned by the u.s. it is happened two or three times. we are right in their reliance on the haqqanis as its regular -- irregular forces. now we are telling them they are your enemy, and that is correct. we are saying go after them now, and by the way in two years, we are out of their. that seems to me this is the
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background of that relationship. how do we convince them that this time we are not going to leave them? that we are not going to abandon pakistan again? >> first of all, we have made some serious mistakes relevant to pakistan. one of them had to do with some planes which we sold to them and did not deliver them. i do not know -- i do not claim to be courageous at the time. i would have to go back and look at my own votes. whether i met the test of courage or not is not the point of. i thought it was just terribly wrong for us to be selling them something and then not delivering a while we are hanging onto their money. that has recently been corrected.
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also, we are not leaving the area of. your question i think contains both questions about are we leaving afghanistan. we are not going to do either. if pakistan gives us that choice of losing an allied if we continue to speak the truth about the relationship of pakistan and their isi to the events across the border, if we continue to speak the truth, we got to protect our troops. if the price of that is making our relationship with pakistan much more difficult, as chairman of the armed services committee, i have to tell you that i do not
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love that choice. but that is the choice. we are going to choose our troops. we have to choose our troops. we are going to continue to try where we can with the interests are mutual to work with the pakistanis. we are not leaving the area. i do not know if they want us in the area or out of it. i think they are ambivalent. was a they want us in or out, we are going to reduce our presence. but we are not leaving afghanistan anymore than we are going to abandon our efforts to have a decent relationship with pakistan. >> in the middle there. >> thank you.
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retired state department. are we going to compel pakistan to change its behavior? i think it can be argued that however wrong-headed the pakistani behavior is, many pakistanis believe the haqqani is giving them a strategic presence in afghanistan, the instrument to a long-term ability to play a role, and however wrong this is, it is clearly a very strong held belief among certain pakistanis. set against that, the threat of losing the u.s. as an allied will only strengthen the belief that it is important to do that. that is a very powerful thing to try to overcome however wrong they may be.
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we can send drones against the haqqani. are we going to send troops into the area? how are we going to make them change their tune? the more we squeeze them, the more they believe they have to have that strategic presence. >> how do you push a change in behavior? >> you cannot force them to do anything. i think there has been too much u.s. arrogance over the ages about our trying to dominate or decide. they are going to act in their self interest. we have to, number one, persuade them hopefully as to what their self interest is. hopefully they will see it as a normalized relationships with the u.s. and see that that is in
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their self interest. then we also have to be clear and honest that we will act in our self-interest as well. we are going to protect our troops. under international law, we can do that. i think we should do that. artillery being fired across the border is not going to be responded to is wrong. it is going to be responded to. we are not simply going to have artillery coming in from pakistan and not respond. the response can be done in the number of ways. i do not think people are talking about sending troops into pakistan, but the use of drones has been effective and there is also the use of a counter-artillery. i agree that you cannot force
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pakistan and the idea that we can do that and some of the rhetoric that implies that we can do that i think plays into the hands of those who are extremists. i think some of that rhetoric, the dominating rhetoric not just with pakistan but other parts of the world. is so important that we acted in an international community at our back and with us to avoid that use of the rhetoric of domination which is too often characterized and used by the terrorists against us, saying that america wants to take over afghanistan. that is the rhetoric that is used against us. id has to be their self interest that we appeal to, and it has to be our self interest which we must pursue as well and
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not act as though as we are somehow older than thou. we believe that our self interest is the interest that people in this world impart, that the values are values in which move this world in the right direction. that has to be at the core of our interests, the values that we pursue. because they have a tremendous, powerful effect around the world. >> many of the things you have said about pakistan remind me what was said about saudi arabia. that behavior did not change until 2004 when these attacks started targeting the saudi oil family. when you speak of pakistan, do they need an attack that truly
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threatens them? that shows them that they have to take us seriously? >> attacks from terrorism? they have lost tens of thousands of people from terrorism. a prime minister from terrorism. >> that truly threatens their power. what breaks through that mentality? >> what breaks through, i think, is for them to see what terror has on them and even though at the moment they think piece from the haqqanis in terms of the threat from them that is not necessarily a lasting. and the value of the relationship of with the u.s. is a real value to them. we have to make it a real value to them. >> here in the fourth row.
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>> thank you. my question is about education issues. the secretary will go to japan and hold a meeting in tokyo. what do you expect the meeting about the progress of -- >> what location? >> stem relocation issue. >> is it marine location? >> [unintelligible] >> okinawa. senator webb and i recently went
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to open now well on this issue, to japan, on this question of our basis in okinawa. it is a major problem that has been festering for a long time. id is not the presence of troops in okinawa. is the fact that there is an over-presence that is creating a real problem because it is too heavy of the present. physically, it is taken over huge chunks of the island that are populated. we are welcome. they like us. they want us there. but we have to find a new place to base our marines. the new location up north is unreal. it is far too costly. it is not going to happen.
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we have to be honest. id is not going to happen. we have to find a different path to relocate some of our marines from that facility where they currently are. there are some suggestions that we have made to the pentagon. i would hope that secretary leon panetta and i think you were referring to his visit to japan will tell the japanese we are very close allies. whatever we are going to do, we are going to do to get their. this will not be a unilateral shift of the u.s. we have a plan that is unworkable. it is simply too expensive. we ought to be honest with each other. for some reason, it is difficult politically and i am not sure why. i do not know why it is difficult politically to say that we agreed on a plan.
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hey, it is not working. let's change the planned. there is a sensitivity. who goes first? this is an ally facing a common problem. it is not such a problem. people are trying to solve the location problem of the marine's. number one, we should deal with it frankly, together, not unilaterally, and be honest about the impossibility of our current plan. man in fronte here. >> senator, based on your long experience and six visits, what do you say is a possibility or
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how do you see of the possibility of persuading the pakistanis to come along our way. when we were dealing with the soviet union into the arms control business, we knew we could not force them to do anything but we found a certain pressure points that we could apply. what pressure points do we have to apply against pakistan to come along, persuade them to come our way? >> if they see the relationship between us and them as a plus, either economically or militarily, that relationship cannot be normal as long as their land is used as a base of attack against us and the afghans and the coalition. that is number one.
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number two, there is a significant amount of support that we provide which is in jeopardy because of this threat from their territory against our troops. that support is on hold essentially. there are different forms of. in general, the kind of financial support is on hold because you cannot have a relationship where we are supporting a country that is actively as well as passively b rtboth helping to kill ou;r troops. our troops are being killed by folks who have a safe haven in pakistan. when the government will not even speak out against that let alone take them on which makes it impossible for us to
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continue the economic and military financial support in a normal way it. that has been put on hold by the administration. ultimately, it will be their own self interest, the perception of whether or not they can distinguish between the terrorists who attacked them that they obviously go after and the terrorists who attacked their neighbors. if they think they can be safe from a threat from that kind of terrorist, i think they are wrong but they will have to make that judgment themselves. >> there is time for two more questions. the gentle man in the second row. today's event has been on the record. >> mike costa, recent retiree. >> we miss you.
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>> very nice to see you. >> this must be a sign of the times. not a single question on iraq. the ultimate numbers next year will probably be diminished from the numbers that some had anticipated. is there anything you can tell us about how that negotiation is going now? in the best guess on to win the defense authorization bill will be on the floor? >> the first answer is easier than the second. [laughter] amazing to be able to say that a question about iraq is an easier question to handle then the defense authorization bill. that is the situation in the u.s. senate. in terms of a iraq, apparently the discussions continue. i think we should make a clear that there is a finite point
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where we have to say, ok, this is not going to work and we are going to pull our forces out including the trainers that we are willing to keep their, providing that we can protect them from being covered by -- been prosecuted under an iraqi law. we will not allow our troops to be put in that situation. that is the sticking point apparently. i do not think it is a good idea for us to be pleading with iraq to ask us for troops to stay. we have been in the position -- it looks as though that we are hoping that they are going to be making this request and we are hoping that certain elements of their political world will join in the government requests.
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ill some of the shi'ite group's jois join in on the requests. we should not be pleading them to ask us. i do not like to be in that position. providing we are not in combat, that we are there for training purposes for a limited number of troops. we ought to give them a clear deadline on its. i am glad that we are pulling out almost all of our troops. by the way, for my republican friends who criticized president obama for setting deadlines in afghanistan which he was wise to do for the reasons i mentioned, this deadline in iraq was a president bush deadline for the record. i did not want to end on a
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partisan note. the second question, the sticking point is if there is language in that bill relative to the handling of detainees as to whether their detention will be by the military or civilian authorities. whether or not federal courts are going to be available for the trials of terrorist it. last night, we defeated an effort that was almost totally partisan to deny prosecutors the use of federal courts for terrorist it. we defeated that effort. two republicans joined to say be able toht to use our federal courts to try terrorists. that issue was resolved last night.
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but the issue that is holding up the defense authorization bill is not a matter whether federal courts will be available for the trial of terrorists. the issue that is holding up the bill is who will detained and whether or not terrorists must be detained by the military or whether or not civilians can continue as they have in the past to detain terrorists and to interrogate terrorists. we worked out a compromise that i will not go into which i thought was a fair compromise which has language in there that the administration does not like which sets categories of affairs of what the al-qaeda and people affiliated with al-qaeda must go through the military detention system. they do not like that. they wrote in a waiver so they can waive that. the administration is
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apparently not satisfied with that weaver and that think has mischaracterized it. i know there is a reporter in the room that wrote a story today or last night where the administration has inaccurately characterized our bipartisan language in our bill which contains that flavor for the president contending that language that he does not like and that is the holdup. the majority leader indicated to the white house that he is going to try to get that language out of the bill. that is the dilemma that we are now in. you ought to have a question that we can end on a positive note. >> policy template for removing nasty dictatorship.
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a lot to discuss in a short amount of time. thank you very much, senator levin. [applause] and indulging my many questions. i am pleased to announce next wednesday, october 26, a conversation with the, don general u.s. marine corps. thank you very much for coming. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> next, up from this morning's "washington journal," a
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conversation with congressman frank wolf on the arab spring, the death of muammar gaddafi, and his work to promote human rights. host: on your screen right now is frank wolf of virginia. he is here to talk to us about his new book, "prisoner of conscience." i like to start with libya, in the news. did you support what the president was doing it in the country? guest: i did not. having said that, i congratulate the president and i am pleased that muammar gaddafi is gone. i think we have to do everything we can to make sure that who takes his place is good. i was in egypt in july, and the
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muslim brotherhood that may very well takeover. i spoke with christians and they're very concerned. i think we have to be careful now. the administration deserves the credit and we have to do everything we can to make it a good group. some of the rebels have been connected with the mujahadeen and al qaeda, so we want to be careful. host: you have chosen to take on human rights issues. i am wondering what got you started on all this. guest: i joined a small bible study group. congressman tony hall, probably my best friend from congress, a democrat from dayton, ohio. we got interested, and one day in 1984 he called me on the phone and asked me to go to ethiopia, when the famine was taking place. i jumped on an airplane and flew
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to ethiopia, not easily by myself. i went to a camp run by world vision. we got stuck at the camp. the airplane was not able to come back. what i saw an experienced was life changing. then in 1985, congressman hall and congressman chris smith and i went to romania. it was dark in romania, evil. people would come up and put notes and our hands saying, my husband is in jail. those two trips, during the famine, where many died, and then the romania trip in 1985 or life changing trips. this is an issue that i have gotten interested in. host: with the fault of the wall
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and the soviet union, there have been so many changes in the 30 years have been in congress. but you optimistic about the state of things? guest: i would not say i am optimistic. we could be. the words in the constitution are a covenant with the entire world. they were for the entire world. when you go around the world, people know the words of the constitution, particularly the declaration of independence. if we have an administration and congress actively advocating for the person who is standing up -- ronald reagan called the soviet union the evil empire, he said tear down the wall. you can do it in that way and make changes, get if you recall, corporate chef came to ronald reagan's funeral. -- gorbachev came to ronald
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reagan's funeral. that has declined. i think if we are doing that, pushing the freedom agenda, then i would be optimistic. but right now in china, the catholic church has gone through great pressure with the bishop of hong kong three months ago. they are doing terrible things to the catholic church. they aren't arresting protestant house church leaders. they are persecuting leaders, spying against us. we see in egypt the christians now live in great fear, particularly after the fall of mubarak. right now, there are probably bombers flying over, bombing people. ethnic cleansing is taking place. and nobody says a thing. yes, if america is exercising a moral leadership, and we have a wonderful country, doing it in a
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bipartisan way, that i would be optimistic. if we cease to be involved that way, and lastly if we cannot get control of this debt and deficit, when we become economically weak, china is our banker. there are catholic bishops under house arrest. but they have plundered to that. they are our bankers. when economically you cannot pay your debt and we are borrowing from china, that is not very good and that makes me pessimistic. it might -- my wife and i have 15 grandkids. but to be optimistic. but i think the model is president reagan. your book at times criticizes condoleezza rice for the debt situation. but constraints d.c. about china holding u.s. that?
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guest: i think it is a big constraint, it driving issue. president obama, who was the 2009 nobel prize winner put on a dinner for a chinese leader, while his wife was under house arrest. the president did not to meet with the dali lama. president bush met with the dali lama publicly. i think that is stopping us from saying things and doing things. and it ought not be. we should be advocating for those who are being persecuted. that is why i made the comment. we have to get this debt and deficit down. we have to eliminate it. boxley we can come together in a bipartisan way to do with so we can remain not only militarily strong but economically strong. if you are strong economically.
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the 21st century was the american century. i want the 21st century to be the american century and not the chinese century. if it is the chinese century, it is a dangerous world. >> are america's best days behind her? guest: i don't think so. i think the american people are ready to deal with these things. i think the failure has been more in washington. there is a chair in the room across from where the signing of the declaration of independence to place. there's a story about it was carved and in grave and painted on the chair that washington sat on. when the constitution was signed, front and said i used to look at the chair and i did not
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know if it was the rising sun or the setting sun. now i think it is the rising sun. every politician wants to believe their best days are ahead, and i believe we are, but if we fail or allow this debt and deficit to take over, if we do not advocate and stand up for our principles, if we continue to borrow from china -- we are borrowing from saudi arabia. saudi arabia found that the radical schools. the head of the taliban what to a saudi school. i want to be optimistic. believe that america's best days are ahead, but we cannot just say it, you have to do it. it i think the model for speaking and advocating for the persecuted and the port is president reagan. at i admire president reagan.
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at he just had that ability, and you could feel what was taking place. and with president reagan and margaret thatcher and pope john paul ii, they change the world. i am optimistic for my grand kids, but we have to do the right thing. host: for those of you who do not often watch committee hearings, we pulled one cove from august. >> you have to remove oubashir. government change, regime change. that has been going on 21 years. 2.1 million people, mainly christians. killed in the north-south battle.
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200,000, 400,000 killed in darfur. the u.s. turning people over to take people away. that sounds like the nazis. that sounds like something out of a bad movie. the u.n. has failed. these are war criminals. ihost: how does that serve your causes? guest: i was the first member of rfur.ouse to go to da there is genocide there. we have talked with young women who said they were raped. as they were raped, they were saying it would make a lighter skinned baby. is an indicted war
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criminal. it is aircraft are bombing innocent civilians in the mountains. just last week, the government of malawi that we are giving a grant of foreign aid to and hundreds of millions of dollars to invited him in for an economic conference. the world stood up to them, but why is it any different when it takes place in a european continent when it takes place at a poor country in sudan? just seeing this, and i saw the women in the camps and i saw the people and it just does not seem right and also the number
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one supporter of bashir is china. the largest embassy in khartoum is china. china is getting a large portion of its oil. china has blocked the u.n. peacekeepers from being active there. so when you see this and i had a lady in the camp, her name was rebecca, she said, you in the west seem to care about the what else. you don't care about us -- you care about the whales. you don't care about us. it's being going on for 20 years. so -- host: question for you. how do the citizens of virginia react about your passion about foreign policy issues in foreign nations especially as our own economy is challenged? guest: well -- i'm grateful for the opportunity to serve having run for re-election. i'm very grateful to my constituents. jim cooper and i came up with the concept of this debt commission four, five years ago. we're adding a new -- we added a new lane on the t.r. bridge and just widened i-66 and
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fighting the ms-13 gangs. no, i think -- you know, i do. host: and you mentioned tony hall was one of your great friends, a democrat from ohio. what do you think about the current state between the parties in congress? guest: it's not good. it's not good. host: and what caused it, do you know? guest: i don't know. i really don't know. i think tony hall, he may not want me to call a liberal democrat --, he's moderate liberal democrat. he's my friend. i'm a conservative republican. we became friends in 1982 and we still meet together. we're still friends. something has happened and i don't know that i can, you know, explain what it is but i think
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you can have differences. and ronald reagan was a model again. ronald reagan and tip o'neal, you hear the stories. i don't know how close they were but they cooperated and worked together. i think the country is in such a difficult time. high unemployment, housing foreclosures and so i think it's time. i am a conservative republican. i believe in the values of my party. i think -- and tony and i found a number of issues that we can work on. host: tell me about the title of your book "prisoner of conscience." guest: well, it says my conscience tells me to do these things. host: and you can't escape it? guest: no. host: who was the biggest influence on you do you think in your life? you say ronald reagan. guest: my faith. my mom and dad.
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my faith. their being in a group with tony hall and dan coats and so many other. it's not the one. it's been kind of an evolving process. host: let's get our viewers involved. beginning with a call from tammy, a democrat in rockford, illinois. please, go ahead, tammy. caller: yes. i'm just trying to say that i think that everybody should quit trying to down obama because he brought most of our children home. he's trying to stop the war. ok. host: congressman wolf. guest: well, i'm not sure what wars he's talking about but i have a bill, we passed the house, we're trying to get it passed in the senate, it sets up a study group to look at this afghanistan war. maybe what to do and what is appropriate. maybe what they're doing is not.
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maybe there's a better way. i don't have the answers but i was the author of the iraq study group. jim baker, republican. good guy. congressman hamilton, good person, to come together and pennetta served on that panel. gates served on that panel and they came up with good ideas. i want to look at pakistan as part of it because if you can't be successful in pakistan you are not going to be successful in afghanistan. the administration opposes my bill. i can't get them to comment on it. now we're going to hopefully pass it in the senate but going to bring republicans and democrats. it's supported by crocker who is our ambassador in afghanistan. he supported it before he got appointed. so in fairness -- it's supported by jim dobbins. it's supported by a lot of people. the commandant of the marine corps. let's take it what i call fresh eyes on the target. let's take fresh eyes. if you had a health care
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problem you would want to get a second opinion, and i don't know the answer. i don't but i think there's people out there. let's let them look at it and see, is everything the president and the administration is doing appropriate or should there be a change? but we can't get the administration to support that. host: here's a tweet from judy tom who writes -- how much does oil politics drive our foreign policy? guest: i think it drives it to a certain extent. there's a lot of interest in darfur. george clooney has done good work. mia farrow has done good work. rorger farrow who was in the bush administration. president bush did it. president bush appointed special envoy to give the north- south agreement.
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i give president bush credit. what he did on sudan he focused like a laser beam and because of president bush and having pointed -- appointed john and colin powell, they were able to bring about that north-south agreement. i think americans care. it's just that darfur is so far away and it's very difficult for the media to get there and it's not on everybody's -- i don't think oil is a deciding factor whether we should be active in there egypt doesn't have any oil but we need to be active. we've given them $50 billion and millions of christians live in fear. caller: good morning. how are you doing, mr. wolf? guest: doing good. thank you. caller: look. i am not going to discuss foreign politics with you. i want to point out two quick points.
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first, i disagree with that china -- i think the federal reserve is digging this hole for us. there is only one candidate, and ron paul has been saying for decades about how genocidal these people are. i mean literally they are destroying this country. the second point i want to make is about the mid eastern policy concerning the palestinians and the israelis. now, there's a gentleman named gid yen levi. and i think the israeli newspaper he writes for and he wrote a brilliant book, article after article in how difficult it is and case of the violations the palestinians on human rights and it's almost nonexistent in america because it's so top heavy with the israeli pro-zionist
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it's hard to get the information out there. there's more open debate -- in fact in israel than it is in america about the discrepancy i believe is between the israeli and the palestinians when it comes to the policies concerning that. those are the two key points, if we want to try some of these problems internationally we have to first deal with the federal reserve and right on the heels of that deal with the discrepancy which i believe exists between our policies in the mideast between the israelis and the palestinians and i thank you for taking my question. bye-bye. guest: thank you. well, on the first -- on i preal, israel is our friend and i have not read the book and don't know what the gentleman said but israel is our friend in the middle eeflt. on the other issue you raised with regard to china, china is
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stealing secrets from us. there are two companies in america, those who subbing for cyberattacks to china and those cyberattacks and do not know it. my computer was stripped by the chinese government. i mean, here you have g.e. signing an avionics deal with china to develop their avionics with china. we have to bring those companies back. china's spying against us, chinese is persecuting the catholic church, the protestant church, they've plundered tibet. and lastly, china is involved in activities from sudan to other places that are not good. we need to bring those american companies back. if you have an iphone it's made in china. if you have ani pad it's made in china -- if you have an ipad it's made in commeans. i believe commean is a direct threat to this country. both economically and that's why we need to get control of the
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debt and deficit and not borrow from china. host: you are on the topic of your cyberattack. you write in your book you contacted the f.b.i. to have them look in the situation you just described and they verified that the chinese had been behind the cyberattack on your office and you learned that computers in the offices of 16 other members of congress, including chris smith, were similarly compromised. what year was this? guest: several years. host: what was the u.s. government or congressional response to this? guest: i raised it on the floor but there was not really much of a response. the f.b.i. comes before my committee on the appropriations committee. nobody wanted to say anything. when members of congress and administration people were going to china, if you take your blackberry to china or your laptop, 30 seconds after you enter the terminal, it's taken. it's stripped. you remember secretary gutierrez who was secretary of the commerce, they took his material when he was in commean
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and they backed in the computers in the department of commerce. so nobody wanted to say anything. so what we did we urged the house to tell members when you go to china, when you go to some other countries, don't take your blackberry, don't take your cell phone, don't take your laptop because they are going to strip and take it. host: but this was in your own office? guest: it was. it was my office, chris smith's office, senator kirk's office, the house international relations committee. it was baffling and at times i met with the f.b.i. they initially didn't want to say anything. we pursued the issue and finally we got up and filed a certain motion and addressed it on the floor. it's now when members go, don't take your blackberry. every corporate executive, when they go to china, their blackberry, their cell phone, their laptop is stripped and most now know it but some do not know
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it. in fact, i believe the science advisor in the white house, we had a hearing when he went to china he took all this electronic equipment and i can guarantee that china stripped it. they're stripping stuff in the pentagon here so when you go and walk in their terminal there they're taking everything. host: well you right on the same subject. u.s. counterintelligence officials reportedly stated that 140 different foreign intelligence organizations regularly attempt to lack in u.s. government agencies and u.s. companies. is this company sufficiently prepared for cyberattacks? guest: we are not. the administration is attempting and trying to do it but we are not. no, we are not. host: tyson's corner, virginia, independent. caller: one, could you name even one founding father who would have endorsed all of the meddling in foreign payments that you seem to advocate?
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as a constituent of yours, how do you -- how do you square calling yourself a fiscal conservative when you voted for tarp twice, schip which is obama health care for kids? you voted for no child left behind. you voted to ban the incandescent light bulb which is goofy. and you voted for tons of local pork. i'll hang up and listen. guest: on the tarp we were facing economic collapse. both bernanke and the secretary paulsen came up and told us basically we may very well face an economic collapse. we could go into another not recession but depression. and i felt i had to do what was in the best interest and to the people that i represent and there are tough votes you take in congress. but now many people believe that had tarp not passed, and we
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can debate it for hours, that we we would have gone into a depression. had we gone into a depression people would have lost their homes. people would have lost their jobs. i remember my dad telling me, who has since passed away, what it was like to live during the depression. people could have lost all their wealth and so therefore based on that i did what i felt was in the best interest of the country. with regard to the founding fathers, i think adams. i think a lot of them would have been. i mean, when people are being persecuted and there is a direct interest with regard to the united states. account united states stand by and allow and not speak out on the issue with regard to the persecution of the church in china or the genocide in sudan? ronald reagan articulated very much with regard to the soviet union what was taking place behind the iron curtain.
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i personally believe and as prayingan said, the words in the constitution and also the words in the declaration of independence is covenant. is deeper than a contract. it's a covenant with the entire world. again, not just for the people in philadelphia in 1776. all men are created equal. endowed by their creator, by god. god-given rights. and so therefore there's also the passage in luke that says much is given much is required. we have been blessed in this country. i believe we have been blessed. and therefore to advocate for those being persecuted, living through genocide. we watched the world stand by and do nothing when the nazis were doing what they did in the late 1930's. if you recall and you go to the holocaust museum you'll see that the world was silent. we cannot be silent. host: our next segment we are going to be talking about politics and about voter participation. as i move into that theme i want to talk about domestic politics. i have been in pretty publicized argument i guess it
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would say with grover nor quist about his tax pledge with members of congress. why have you taken him on and what do you think about his criticism of you in response? guest: everyone has every right to criticize me. i don't have any comment about that. i saw he was connected to groups which i made very clear in my statement and we can share that with everyone about groups he's been connected with and i think that's unfortunate. he's a keeper of the pledge and also been connected to lobbying for fanny mae. he was a -- fannie mae. he was a lobbyist for internet gambling and connected to jake abramoff. when i saw that i just felt the obligation -- he has every right to be whatever -- but the obligation to sort of say this was not a good thing. but he has every right to criticize me. that doesn't bother me. host: criticized of the messenger or do you not like the tax pledge? guest: i don't like raising taxes.
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i'm from lowering faxes. i support what senator coburn wanted to do. there are so many tax earmarks. tax earmark lives in perpetuity. g.e. payed taxes. you and your listeners paid more faxes than g.e. paid. one was -- more taxes than g.e. paid. coburn tried to close the loophole, and that is not a tax increase. there are about $150 billion of tax earmarks where they get prominent big lobbyist law firms to get a certain tax earmark from. we can low -- i believe we should lower the tax rates for corporations, lower the tax rates for individuals similar to what they talked about in the simplessh simpson-bowles commission. you have to reform the entitlements and then close these tax loopholes. but for g.e. not to pay any
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faxes, that's just not right. host: last call for you is from minneapolis. go ahead. caller: hi. congressman wolf, thanks for your good work. i also supported you on tarp. i think the idea of protecting the integrity of the united states financial institution is important. i am particularly calling about freedom of relidge only. -- religion. i think that's an important component that the united nations doesn't address enough. and that freedom of religion also allows for freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry. and i think that that's one thing that has held back the middle east substantially along with the right to life. and i know you are very involved in those. i'd like to hear your opinion. guest: well, thank you. on the tarp to this -- let me say i am the only member of the congress who publishes my entire voting record. you can go on my webpage and you can see how i vote on every single issue. i made a pledge when i got
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elected i would make every vote available. i follow the edman burke theory i'll tell you how i voted it. agreemes my kids don't with me or my wife. i want everyone to know how i voted and what i voted on. i appreciate your comment. on the other one, i believe that's who we are. i believe god has blessed this country. and when we advocate and speak out -- now, i am not talking about military force. ronald reagan didn't use military force against the soviet union. in 1983 he talked about the evil empire and it was a speech in orlando, florida. i thought it was a great speech. the media criticized him. then he said, tear down the wall. reagan was consistent. i remember -- i covered chris smith and tony hall and introduced a bill to take away most favored nation from romania. romania was doing bad things for a lot of people.
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reagan's administration supported most favored nation status but ronald reagan saw this and it's in his diary, he pulled it back. reagan had that understanding and he knew that when we advocate, when we stand with solidarity, when we stands with those -- and we can do it by speaking out, by advocating, by writing your congressmen, senators, putting tough sanctions on, no law firm would have represented the soviet union during ronald reagan's time. now you have law firms representing china companies. obviously there will be differences of opinion and i respect that. host: congressman frank wolf of northern virginia suburbs, 10th district of virginia. in this book he talks about his journey to congress and also his work in human rights like ethiopia, iraq, sudan, romania and elsewhere. it's called "prisoner of conscience" and widely
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available. you've been at this congressional situation now for 30 years. 72 years old. still energized? guest: i am. it's -- i tell people, i stutter as a kid. i still stutter. i always wanted to be a congressman. you can watch "60 minutes" on a sunday night and see something that makes you happy or sad and you can come in the next day and do something about it. and i live here. i live in the same house i lived in, you know, since 1974. my district is right here. so, yeah, as long as the lord gives me the energy and lastly the people that live in my district think that i should be here i'll stay for a while. >> coming up later today on c- span, a ceremony honoring the
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50th anniversary of former senator bob dole's service in congress. he was sworn in and 1961. among those speaking, we will hear from pat roberts, former kansas governor and it. health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius, and bob dole. that gets underway at 6:45, with live coverage on c-span. tonight on c-span2, presidential campaign coverage. 9-9 taxin on his 9- plan. and ron paul will be speaking in iowa city, at 9:00 p.m. eastern. >> because i'm a businessman,
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which i am very proud, and connected with large companies, the opposition has attempted to paint me as an opponent of liberalism, but i was a liberal before many of those men heard the word and i fought for the reforms of theodore roosevelt and woodrow wilson before another roosevelt adopted and distorted the word "liberal." >> he was a member of the democratic party, switching in 1940, winning the republican nomination for president. although he lost the election, he left his mark in political history, speaking out for civil- rights and becoming the former ambassador for his opponent, franklin roosevelt. he is featured at our weekly series, "the contenders," live tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> a new study from the new
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american foundation says americans will spend $100 million more on gasoline this year than last. the new america foundation hosted the discussion on the impact of higher gas prices. this is one and a half hours. >> good morning. thank you for coming. this is the launch of a yearlong project called the energy trap, looking at how middle-class families pay for gasoline. we're very grateful ought to have the support of the new america foundation. this was found that by the rockefeller foundation, and we have a very exciting discussion today about the role of gas prices in energy policy, and i will kick off by talking about some of the things that we found through the energy trap. i want to remind you of what is happening today. c-span it is in the room, and we are also taking this for the new
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america website. so there is a couple of things to remember. first, everything you say is on the record. every sneeze is on the record, too. when you have a question, please wait for the microphone. we will hand you the microphone and you will be clear on all of the audio. the speakers that we have today are john not skip laitner, from the american council for an energy-efficient economy. he has done an economic survey for the energy trap on the consumer's response to gasoline prices since 1970. it is a very interesting, detailed report. he will be going second. our responded today is chaired bernstein, who was with the center for budget and policy priorities. he was also the chief economist for the middle class task force
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done by the white house. we are delighted to have him here. people talk about energy and environmental issues, they tend to stay in that silo, and we are excited to cross pollinate with people working on in come issues. we're looking for to working more with people on the assets or credit issues in the future because energy is such a cross cutting issue. thank you very much for coming, and i will start the show now. the energy trap grew out of a lot of anecdotes. i ran across it. i have been studying gasoline for years, and ran across people who kept talking about how much the were spending, particularly in rural areas. at first, the quantities of money they were spending on their commute, when you at the gasoline to the cost of their car, or listen to the story of how far they had to go for two
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jobs, they were jaw dropping. oftentimes the dematha couple times. what we try to do with the energy trap is understand who they are and where they fit in in the big tapestry of american fuel use. we try to move from anecdote towards real data, to understand how deep and pervasive this is an to understand what it means to be trapped into paying increasing amounts for desolate and with that -- for gasoline, and what that feels like, particularly at the lower end of the middle-class. we have the study by skip, and we have another study done which looked at the behavior of 2000 households. it was a very elaborate survey, and we are not finished tabulating the data. but we have our preliminary results.
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i will just play one of these anecdotes, so you understand what we're talking about. this is a guy named therein. -- named darren. he is a security guard and california. >> my name is darren. i do security work. i work seven days a week. my commute time is up 5 to 60 miles. i spend about $500 on gas. -- my commute time it my commute560 miles. my car payment is five and a $15 per month. car insurance. total expenses, $1,225 per month
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. gas prices, the middle class is going through tough times right now. if gasoline goes up to $5, i have to tell you -- >> i wanted to show that video so that it and see what the energy trap looks like in action. one of the things that is interesting about his case, he did not do anything exceptional. he had a well paying security jobs in 2004. he made a lot on overtime. his salary was over $50,000 per year. 20 years he had been working, he really wanted to buy a house. he bought a condo that was much further from his job, and then
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he began to commute to their in 2006. in 2007, he traded in his car with 200,000 miles on it because there was a rebate on an suv, $6,000 rebate. gas prices were going up at the time. the rebates were designed to offset the increasing price of gasoline and allow consumers to consider the rebate and the context of the car and assumed they would not be it that badly by gas prices. he bought it. two days after he got it, they tried to -- he tried to take it back, but they had sold his old car. that is not protected the exceptional. in 2008, he lost the security job because of the recession and he was rehired in two separate part-time jobs. that is why he works seven days per week. that is a common story,
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replacing a full-time job with multiple part-time jobs. you have people commuting extraordinary amounts of time for very limited jobs. another person we interviewed in montana was commuting six hours a f for 12 -- six hours per week for 12 hours of jobs. that gives you a sense of the sacrifices these people are putting up with. what i want to show you is the change in gas price, what it looks like across the country. this map shows on a household by a household basis the range that people were paying for gas in 2010. when gas prices went up in 2011, this is where the average
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household cost of gas went to. we have a lot of it states over $400 for household monthly cost of gasoline. in texas, that meant an increase of $90 per month. in new mexico, an increase of $100 per month. this is coming straight out of the family budget to go towards gasoline. there is no way to plan for this. on a macro level, this is $100 billion more than last year. it is all the equivalent to the middle class tax bracket. it is really regressive, moving across the country. vermont was an extra on for $48 between 2010 and 2011. -- from what was an extra $148. you can play with this website
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later. there is much to play with here. the conventional thinking about high gas prices is when gas prices wrote rise, consumers respond by using less. skip laitner will talk about his analysis, which shows that consumer response to higher-foot prices -- higher gas prices has been extremely flat. we have this tension between on the one hand the rising use of gas with it in, and this static response of consumers to price. this is striking because so much of our energy policy is braced -- based on price. we believe that putting a carbon tax will change behavior and the way they spend on cars. there is a lot of belief in price. what it looks like when you look at consumers' inability to respond is that our energy policy is in some way some type of bankruptcy policy on the
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household level, something we need to deal with. the other thing to remember is that the rise in energy use with income as a very complex relationship. people get into more, this woman, laura, pictured here in this anecdote commutes 120 miles per day because she wants to maintain her salary. she moved to a rural part of georgia. she was used to a salary of $60,000. she could have got a job closer that paid less, but she wanted to maintain that salary, so she is driving 120 miles per day. her total commute costs are about $17,000, so it absorbs the increase in potential income, but that is not something she thought much about until we talked. i think we really need to think about other interventions in price and changing behaviors.
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the average annual cost of transportation is a large and complex number, but the government estimate is that the cost of a car and fuel together is $7900 for families of four. by our estimate, it looks more like 10,000. some of them are probably spending close to $12,000 or $13,000. this is a massive amount of money. a lot of people did not have the choice of riding mass transit or switching out. the good news is that cost has a lot of components. you can change the car, the financing of the car, increase the mileage of the car, a lot of different ways to change this number and reduce the total overall hit that transit tax on household. obviously, one of the things
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that would be great, and family say they need to cars to have the ability to work in the economy, if you get rid of one of those cars, he would free up perhaps $5,000, $6,000 that you could use on something else. that really resonates with people when we talk with them. the other thing that has happened over the past couple years is the amount of family income that goes towards-has really risen. but it it has really risen. the graphics in this presentation were all done in house by new america. this is an incredible view. the little circles stand for states. when they are blue, they indicate a low percentage of family income, or median household income from that state
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going to gas. what is striking is how much this has changed. the set point in people's minds is that-is picking up a small amount of the family income. what happens is after 2003-2004, it starts to rise extraordinarily. states like mississippi and montana, with a very high transit burden, or people have to drive many more miles per year, are striking. red, that is 19% of median income going towards gasoline in that state. that is an incredibly high burden. you have to wonder what is doing to those economies. i think one of the things to think about for the energy trap is focusing geographically on places that are particularly squeezed by this. i want to bring to your attention this tiny blue ball. that is washington, d.c.
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in washington, d.c., the amount of transit and also the fact people probably buy gasoline outside of the city means in these numbers, the washington, d.c., is about 2% of household median income. that is really kind of extraordinary. the other thing about the energy trap is that it particularly affects a certain segment of the middle class. this is information from our survey, basically raw data. it is incumbent segregated. a battlentations' is eccentric. as how the survey firm broken up. i want to look at how people are spending gasoline, self reported. these people in the red area in
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particular ought are spending a high percentage. they have certain other barriers that makes their spending more complex and makes them more locked into a spending pattern, not able to change it. one is the miles per gallon of their cars. this is not self reported data. we got all of their cars and the years and we filled in the data from the epa on their mileage. this crowd has a significantly higher burden. the difference between here and here, which is magnified by the way we display at, but it is more than $350 per year this year. it is a significant spread in gasoline spending. the people at the low end of the middle class also try further to their jobs.
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significantly, that also have very high repair bills, much older cars, which puts them at economic risk. the other thing is insurance, which is all over the map. the thing about insurance, someone i interviewed wrote to me yesterday, iand i have always been a fan of increasing insurance for the amount that you drive, and she said, look, they squeeze you again. if you try for the, you were squeezed by the pricing of insurance. i think that kind of reveals how a lot of policy that we designed to try to make people behave more rationally around gas prices may in fact be punishing some parts of the community. the other thing to recognize is we have a lot of policies are around fuel efficiency, and we have incentives and we also have mass-transit policies.
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some of these policies tend to benefit people at the upper end of the scale. for example, tax credits for hybrids. cash for clunkers really reached people who had credit and were able to purchase a new car. mass transit, a recent brookings study found more mass transit and it at high skilled jobs. we need to focus on the middle class and, in particular, the lower middle class and think about ways to give them choices in their spending. one of the big questions is, why doesn't everybody drive a more fuel-efficient car? 10, 15 years ago, the cheapest cars and the market were the most efficient. at one point, i had a 1000 other toyota that got 35 miles per gallon.
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the used-car market now fluctuates with gas prices. you have this wonderful and bizarre situation in which the compact cars during times of high prices, but price of compact cars are out eclipsing -- used cars coming out eclipsing the cost of the mid- sized, and you also have suv's falling. that means that you are strapped for cash and you are buying a car from a used car dealer, you may find -- this is for good condition cars, the early stages of the used car market -- you may find the cheapest car for you is the least efficient. so the market incentives are not aligned. the other thing that locks people into this market is access to credit, that keeps people in the lower tiers of the middle-class from choosing exactly which car they want and would be most appropriate. this woman, tammy, from new
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hampshire, her story is interesting. she had gone through a divorce that ruined her credit. she lived at 55 miles from a pretty good job and should could not move her kids out of school, she cannot read a new place because of the credit situation. she bought this suv, which seemed appropriate for new hampshire winters. but the time she finished paying for it seven years later, she had paid at $25,000 for a a 9000 other car. but the time she was done paying for this used car that she had paid for for seven years, it needed tremendous repairs and was using $500 of gasoline per week. she was transferring all sorts of funds within the family budget to keep getting to work. the kids dropped out of sports.
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she stopped buying her asthma medication, which landed her in the emergency room twice. she changed the way they bought food. oftentimes they would eat peanut butter or macaroni and cheese to get through the week until they got her paycheck. all of this sounds extreme. she also had three other jobs. it is actually not that extreme. the wonderful thing about her story, she had this horrible final break down with the car and she was steered towards the new hampshire program called more than wheels, which got her into a toyota yaris with very good fuel mileage out and that a good loan on the car and her whole family has return to stability. the kids did not worried that she will not be able to pick them up because the car is broken. one of the things when we talk about gasoline prices, when we just talk about price, we tend to be got a lot of the existential affects this has on families.
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this is very demoralizing. this revolution in her life and her control over finances, i mean, a yaris with a decent rate of interest. it shows how you can target programs at people in distress. one of the things that we tend to believe it and take as a given is that americans are very attached to their cars and they do not want anyone messing up that relationship. we asked people in our survey how they felt about their cars. but was striking, when it talked about what they dislike about the cars, it was not about the cars, it was the costs they were tied to. in this graph, also, they took every opportunity to vent about how frustrated they were with the state of the economy and jobs, their dependence upon gasoline, there and ability to choose, this combination of helplessness and anger and frustration with something they wanted to get out.
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when you are looking through 2000 written responses and scanning them, it is striking to see necessary evils so much more than freedom when people are talking about cars. but this indicates and interviews indicate is that people are ready for a bit of a change and they want to be up to spend their income the way they want to spend it. they're starting to see cars as something that is sort of a sponge that absorbs an enormous amount of income. that does not mean it will give up their cars. we should stop thinking that way. what it means is that people may be willing to make some lifestyle choices if they were really convenient for them. there is a really interesting product and california. there is an office park in san ramon, quite far from public transit. it started a very aggressive transit program, employer- centered. they have a woman named marcy was very concerned about getting
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people to leave their cars at home and take transit. they have arranged all the transit schedules and the ball stops so they land at the job, xis if aple rides in taci car pull situation is not worked out, they have done in -- they have gotten 10,000 cars off the road. they enjoy the lifestyle change after the first couple weeks of stress fully taking transit. it starts to be something they do, time to reflect, combined with exercise. it is a different way of thinking about transit then we need more lines. this is figuring out how it fits into how people think of themselves. the last thing i want to show you is people's feelings about what makes for a reasonable gas price. i love this
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>> i love this chart. it is very wacky. the politician is absolutely going to freak out with how many people do not like this. if we try to use a political system to set prices to influence behavior, we are caught in this tension between my work and what works politically. one of the things we need to do is change the conversation away from price and specifically freaking out about high prices. we need to switch from talking about that to the total cost of transit. a lot of the promises people are making are falling on deaf ears. we found that over 95% of people say their elected
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representatives were doing nothing to deal with their costs of transportation. so, very high numbers -- pretty close to unanimous. the things said we need to think about going forward are how do we think about ways for people not to be helpless. responding to? prices, feeling like they're actors in the economy? there are a couple of ways to focus on it. one is focusing on things that work for that community and the other thing is to focus programs at the middle class, see what they need, and reduce the burden. finally, i think we are just beginning this study. what we want to do is really start thinking about this. we are really looking at very high prices in the future. we need to be prepared.
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this is really hurting people's families, their ability to respond and our economy as a whole. with that, i would like to introduce skip laitner, who will present his work on how consumers respond to prices. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> good morning, everyone. i have the pleasure of moving stories about humanity to data. i am hoping we can make this converge within sites that support a better way of looking at the problems we face. i will talk about the price induced energy policy trap, or new observations based on data that is the emerging. these are my own views. they do not represent the new
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america foundation. it is a steady i've pulled together. hopefully the insight will become more compelling over time. i have drawn. we have a picture of a father lecturing his son, and the caption reads eventually he came to dread lectures over all other forms of punishment. we can avoid that problem today. let me get the context established to see the numbers in a better way. the u.s. economy is lagging with anemic growth of about 1.7%. we are used to about 3%. the world is moving ahead over 3%. while we are lagging, the world is moving. as a result, we will see
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worldwide demand for oil off, and that will drive up prices of gasoline and oil. despite our decline in the use of gasoline, which will find overall expenditures increasing 25% from $390 billion in 2010, to about $490 billion. i'm using constant dollars. with income shrinking in the after effects of the recession, gasoline and everything associated with transportation will become a huge drag on the economy and slumping gains in energy efficiency will weaken a previously robust economy and that weakens consumer income. expenses are rising, calling down the well -- calling down -- pulling down the income of families with rising
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expenditures. he drivers -- rising and highly volatile gasoline prices. that is to be sure. also, a lot in of infrastructure, of consumer behavior, that actually might freeze us into a more costly and less productive pattern of activity and well-being. a lagging energy efficiency that imposes a huge array of costs and that further constrain the more robust economy and consumer incomes. again, rising expenses, the diminishing incomes. in this context, we might imagine how policymakers might help us navigate this future. for decades we have had a policy by price -- policy makers have tried to keep prices low by
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subsidies and let the market suggest how consumers might change habits or buying patterns. when you have cafe standards to drive up the fuel economy, that still allows prices to steer us toward more efficient cars. yes, that is a critical, very important start in our overall policy. driving from 27.5 miles to over 50 miles a gallon is a big deal and it must be done. it is a long run strategy. together with the time it takes for that, it is insufficient. we need a short run strategy that addresses total consumer and ownership costs and covers the overall price of transportation out of family income. to ensure they reflect careful internal costs, policymakers
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will educate that we impose taxes and high wage usage fees. this caveat -- all strains of the policy assume that consumers can and they actually do respond to higher prices and they reduced demand in an economically rational fashion. the data shows that consumers can not respond -- responded in only a limited way. it becomes a trap. it means you are stopped. the big conclusion -- relying on the price signal to allocate resources is a flawed economic and social policy. indeed, it is possible the day largely price-based policy paradoxical a mighty freezing consumption patterns. this enables gas pumps to
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capture more disposable income even as inefficiency and weakens the size of that income. let's look at some of the evidence. we have a robust family income in the 1950's, up through the mid-1970's. the economy grew, median income flights and quite a bit. it is clearly evident that we are slumping as an economy. that is significant. have we grown at the rate of per capita gdp, families would be earning something more like $97,000 instead of $60,000. what is interesting about this chart is we are looking at the consumer expenditure allocations for a number of types of purchases, whether you're talking about the average consumer, the working poor, and
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the highest income, what is significant is that housing and transportation together consume over 50% of household income, and much more for the working poor. excuse me. we have a problem here. there we go. oops. my apologies. i am trying to go back. >> we are plotting here from
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1992 using the short-term energy outlook. we are looking at things like the growth of population as well as per capita income. here are the expenditures of gasoline. doublings almost two that households and businesses pay. the price is jumping compared to the income. we've seen a dramatic increase in the cost of transportation, and this is imposing serious constraints in overall economic activity even as miles traveled remains stagnant. how that looks in terms of elasticity, which is nothing more than responsiveness, how does the economy as a whole
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respond? we have it sent% change in price. -- 10% change in price. similarly, a change in income -- how does that affect overall energy years? we see that within the year prices are issued, very little change. less than 10%. we see a 1% change in gas lines in which a gasoline or energy consumption. -- gasoline or energy consumption. income is driving up consumption. as we have more we are more in the transportation pattern of little choice but we continue the drive toward greater consumption, because we have to live further away from the work we enjoy, or in terms of the
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household pattern that we are used to participating in. looking at transportation, we see a different pattern. we are looking at all things like auto repair and insurance. interestingly, a much wider gap. income elasticity rises a little bit over time but price is relatively unchanged. this suggests very few choices. when prices jumped, we are forced to pay to the detriment of family income and the larger economy. if we assume elasticity based on the number of 0.5%, it increases consumption by about 5%, compared to price elasticity, where demand is reduced by 1%.
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what does it have to do to keep as even? on a yearly basis -- there we go again. oops. >> i think you can just talk about -- >> i think we can, actually. looking at by income level, we would expect to see a fairly ordered response. you have and ordered fashion. hear, we have a surprising result where the working poor has a much different pattern -- similar, but much higher elasticity. the first quintile earns about $150,000 a year.
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the working poor, $30,000 or $40,000. the average consumer -- third, fifth, and second. what is going on? the working poor response because they might lose a job or hours worked. their energy consumption comes down, whereas the well off family has more choices to maintain a quality of life, but they reduce consumption for entirely different reasons. we have to match what is going on in people's lives, not assuming one price meets all expectations. dramatic changes if we looked at the breakdown by income. here is what is interesting from my standpoint as a macro economist. it contributes to inefficiency and constrains economic activity.
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i am looking at this notion we call used energy. it is the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline that actually moves the family from the house to the school. that amount is usually wasted. we have very little being consumed while a lot is wasted. this shows us from 1950 to 1980, where we have a robust economy and we began increasing efficiency in a way that allows the economy to expand. look what happened in the 1980 to 2010 range. we dropped a full 1% of the economy-wide activity, and the economy slumped.
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this greatly diminished the overall activity. expenditures rose. income came down. we fell in this energy trapped. world oil prices can be the story of the future. looking at the cost of oil since 1900, in constant dollars, we can see two lines. this is the data actually published by bp. we might think these spikes are an anomaly, but when we look at the trend, we see the trend is clearly up, suggesting it will do nothing but a rise. that is what the economists, what they are forecasting to happen. gas prices will rise unless we take steps to address those
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problems. this is john wheeler. the physicist you never heard of. he might be more familiar by the phrase he coined. his comment was "we shape the world by the questions we ask." i want to ask a different question. how do people break out of the trap by given the means to respond? in typical fashion, economists look at how the u.s. was using energy in 1980. the amount does not matter, but here is where we were. they were saying we would maintain an aggressive economy and grow by the year 2000. we had a number of people saying we could look at it differently.
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a number of people could imagine any autonomy that used less people and maintained robustness. the historic use followed not the economist view of the future, but because we responded with a different policies and standards, our overall use actually fell. in 1980, we thought it was a low energy future, but we are returning of thought that consumption is an inevitable way of life as opposed to believing we could reduce demand catalyzed by a small -- smart policies. i will go back to lisa. this nails it. usually, when we talk about
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addressing big problems like oil dependence, climate change, and stagnant wages, we talk about the big six. we do not talk about the little, personal things. we should. the automobiles are an extraordinary role in our lives. we need to address the total deal, not just the price of energy. for those interested, you could go to her website. for policies that do more than merely signal the need to act, we also need policies that enabled people and businesses to be able to act. policies that reflect income needs and give them the information and the opportunity to positively make a difference in their lives.
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again, gary larsen -- if we pull this off, we will eat like kings. to turn the'm happy podium back over to lisa. >> thank you, skip. what we would like to do now is head jared bernstein respond to that, and what we would really like is for you all to see this as a chance for a discussion. first, mr. jared bernstein. >> i will stand here. yes, sure. thank you, lisa and skip. ok. [laughter]
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>> let me start out by saying how much i really like this project. for those of you familiar with my homework, i very much try to get -- with my work, i very much try to get out of the traditional boxes economic analysis starts from, and i think lisa and skip have done precisely that. my comments will go a little bit back inside that box. i want to pose some basic questions about the research. i want to begin by saying i very much agree with and endorsed the seems you have heard so far. i think the energy trapped is
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real, taxing the middle class, and posing obvious challenges for our economy and the environment we will leave to our kids. the first issue i want to raise and talk most about in my comments is a fundamental question that i had reading all of this material and looking at those amazing graphics. i liked the little bubbles. it reminded me of drinking champagne or something. [laughter] >> it is not as clear to me as it should be. these are critical comments basically asking a big question i would love for you to deal more with. it is not clear enough where the market is not working. i see cell years around every
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corner, -- i see failures are around the corner, but i am not as certain the market is as dysfunctional as you think. i see in much of what you are writing about, consumer sovereignty -- consumer is doing what they want to do and sometimes spending their hard- earned money to do so. again, i am being a very square, regular economist, which i think is useful. there is an interesting finding that someone once came up with. it compares the way people sink about their relationship to each other in the u.s. -- think about their relationship to each other in the u.s. as opposed to europe. the u.s. has much more physical
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space. somebody walked around museums and found dead in europe, people are just more comfortable -- found in europe that people are more comfortable being physically close to each other. in the u.s. we like more distance between each other. there is an amazing -- a really interesting thing that happens here. we get into our cars, by ourselves, if we can afford to, and we go to work. i do it myself. i sit there in the car, stopped in traffic while on the other side of the road there is nothing happening, and taking a long time to get into work,
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sometimes clenching my keys, and getting in the car and doing it again the next day. if it is true that we are essentially revealing preferences by putting us through -- ourselves through this time wasting process, the lift here is really heavy. you are not just pushing against price fundamentals, but against the revealed preferences of people who view driving in their car by themselves as if not part of the american dream, as a reward for getting where they want to go. that flies in the face of some of the things we sell found in the survey. -- lisa found in the survey. some people say driving is a necessary evil.
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that suggests that if i had choices to do otherwise i would undertake those choices people are ready for change. that might be true, as it gets to the point where the cost is too high. a lot of what i saw in the presentation, particularly in support thedoes hypothesis that people are doing what they want to do. the fact that the price elasticity is so flat -- again, i am enough of an economist to think that people respond to prices in fairly predictable ways, generally. the fact that the price elasticity is flat has always been taken to suggest that people are responding to price increases by just buying more
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gas, not changing their behavior that much because they want to drive around in their cars. i thought the quintile results suggested that finding as well. that to me is a conventional interpretation of what we have seen and the fundamental challenge to the project, which is despite the fact that people call this a necessary evil, i do not see evidence that people want to get out of the trap nor feel like they are in a trap. skip made this point, and he is 100% right. the price does not reflect the social cost. he mentioned the subsidy. one of the things we talked about in washington, d.c., is something like the $50 billion over 10 years subsidies that we
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did to oil producers so you know right there the cost is low and subsidize. the price of gas is a lot lower here than it is in europe. that has a lot to do with taxation. they are not facing the true cost of their behavior. housing -- affordable housing is just not close enough to work. this i have done myself. affordable housing not being near work makes this idea that people are revealing preferences a little suspect. if you cannot afford to live near where you were, that is a scenario where the market is not working. my first set of comments as we are looking at revealed preferences, and my second set is where is the market not
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working? there is inadequate mass transit. i live in alexandria. we happen to be one of the richest cities in the country and the world, and i can not get home using mass transit after about 7:20 p.m. at night, which is an amazing thing because i have this job that sometimes requires long, odd hours, and i often cannot avail myself of mass transit. this is the capital of the largest economy in the world, and we have inadequate mass transit. so, that is another way i think that we cannot just say people are unrevealing preferences. to me, if i was going to waste my want and get one solution it would be adequate mass transit.
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credit constraints and information problems around auto purchases -- ipod the data from lisa on this was quite compelling. people do not necessarily have the information they need to know about the fuel efficiency, and how much it will cost me -- them over the year. i think those numbers are quite dramatic. one of the things you see is a very elastic response to the prices of gas in car ownership. when gas prices go down, people are out there buying suv's. i would consider that an information problem. if you would able -- would be able to explain that prices ticked up and down.
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there are obvious ways in which the market is not working on one hand, i think the project needs to deal with this fundamental point. people are revealing preferences in the way we might not love, but is real, and on the other hand some of those prices are distorted. let me just finish with combining some of these comments, particularly in mass transit. i actually believe the -- dead bolts of what i said is true. the market is working -- that both of what i said is true. the market is working better and it is said to be broken. the solution should combine the two. just to emphasize that you could walk outside your house and get
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into a compartment, and that compartment would be yours alone -- you could smoke cigarettes, sing songs to yourselves, or whatever you like to do in your cars, and that compartment could take you right to work, you would not have to worry about parking, but you would be paying something. there is no free lunch. certainly, you have taxes and user fees. you would not have a car, you would not have gas, and you would not have parking expenses. than you would not spend all the time in traffic. well, you know, that is a fantasy, but it is conceivable that one could craft a mass transit system or perhaps as lisa suggested he employers could engage in more employee- cent strict -- employee-centric
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traffic. folks after a couple of weeks got more used to that. the idea is to take both of these factors and put them together, and think about a mass transit system that provides a more personalized service, and connect people with work more effectively, and at the same time it gets them out of their cars. i will stop there. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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that was very interesting. it is always great to hear that you're both right and wrong. [laughter] >> at this point we should -- do you wish to discuss anything? >> i want to pick up one. -- point jared made. an increasing number of studies suggest that we do not like tocommute all that much, and i'm wondering if the response does not reveal our constraints. if we look at it from the human perspective, like the energy trapped stories you presented, with the problems households face, it is revealing of their lack of choice and alternatives. tammy said she spent $25,000 for
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a car that cost $9,000. she spent $3,000 a year in gasoline, 3004 repairs. she had no other choice until she had a helping hand. it took a helping hand to address their gasoline problem a. she had counseling -- problem. she had counseling to teach her how to manage money and was able to borrow for a car. so, it is a need to address the complete problem, not just a piece of the problem. >> what is interesting about tammy is she was not given the option of buying the
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standard car in new hampshire. it is something bigger than will not slide so much on the ice. i should check in with her in january to see how she feels about this, but what is significant is her choices were limited in terms of the loans not lending new money unless we know your total cost of transit will be within your means. that is not the way the traditional auto loan works. the traditional is we are going to get the most from you given your ability to negotiate in the credit market. i am very intrigued by the comment about taking the two notions of the consumer preference and consumer constraints, and trying to combine them as we think about mass transit or other solutions for getting people out of their
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cars if they want to get out of their cars. i spent some time in new york riding around with the dollar vans -- these are about 850 fans better ride around brooklyn and queens and give people rides for a dollar apiece. it is entirely for profit, and presumably profitable, though i did not get into the finances. what is interesting about it is they provide services people cannot get from a boss. for example, there vans will pick up a parent, take a parent and child up to the door, and then let the parents get back in the car. that is pretty incredible. you could imagine that working in other locations.
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you could imagine people in smaller communities when a large network of friends or families. i come from the state of maine, and there are certain people that have massive numbers of connections that could actually figure out how to get those people back and forth and make a job on the side. what i think is cool about the van program in new york -- when there is it is somewhat illegal, but one of the positive things it is it is counter-cyclical to the economy. it is like avon. it is like those on a per no real things were people with connections get bumped -- things werer ral people with connections get around.
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>> that is _ in my point. the economy gets better, they get out of the vans. it is not a good thing, but it points in that direction. >> that is true. did you have a response? >> no, i think what you both said is exactly right, and i really believe the answer lies in the intersection of the two sides i tried to present. >> we would like to open the floor of to questions. be sure to get the microphone first. >> thank you. i want to take issue with a concern about insurance and more generally about the driving cost variable, which is different than the rising gas price which is increasing overall. brookings did a fairly major
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study a couple of years ago, and the average vehicle insurance costs would go down by $270 dollars. you are already showing with the working poor, the group you had the most concerned about, they were shown to be the most price elastic in skip's chart. they are taking absolutely the most important trips, but they're not saving on insurance, and they could. you are not having a case where rural drivers would automatically be paying more. quite the contrary. the ratings that insurance companies do, they're not losing money anywhere.
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there is a lower per-mile cost. part of that is freeway travel. the idea of offering net savings is tremendous. i would pose the following -- if this was universally adopted and someone said let's get rid of that and the consequences would be we would raise an average the insurance costs of people by 2 1/7 dollars, we would be brightly screaming that this is a terrible policy. i think the goal is we should try to make that happen. >> i really appreciate your comments. i have always been a fan of pay as you drive insurance, and what struck me was the optics for the middle class. people who feel they are forced to drive a long way -- i think there is an interesting issue
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here which jared bernstein's comments bring up, and skip's data brings up. the issue of pay as you drive insurance is important because it is a way of giving people an explicit signal about the costs of extra driving, and it is a way of quantifying that. the issue is if people perceive it to be punishing them for things they can not change, he needs to be articulated in a different way. -- it needs to be articulated in a different way. i was quite shocked when i receive e-mail about how pay as you drive insurance was considered punishment by this middle class person. it struck me as odd, and
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something i had not thought about from that perspective. i've always thought if you could drive less, you would benefit. part of this is figuring out a better education package. there is a little lump in skip's data. after the iranian oil prices, people did reduce consumption, and we also integrated cafe standards. what is interesting is the political establishment really reacted to that and said we have high prices, the moral equivalent of war. president nixon in 1973 unplug the white house christmas tree, which is a major bummer of a move, and probably did not do him any good, but this time the
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political system is saying they will be back soon. it is the result of conspiracy, the result of this. there is no question we have to make the price of fuel and highway driving more accurately reflect the costs, but if we move in that direction without giving people the sense of options, we end up punishing certain people. i fear for these people who really cannot move economically. >> one quick comment -- you sound like you know more about this drive by the mile and then i do, but what i find very unsettling -- 20 years ago, my colleague dean baker at the economic policy institute was pushing this idea.
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we had a conference on this. a lot of people thought it just made sense. is there any insurance company that offers that? ok. so, it seems like that would be worth looking at -- its impact both in the positive attributes that you mentioned, and the punishment point. i think it is a head scratcher to me why it is not more widely available. >> just for a background -- companies are using data and pricing. progressive is the leader with a product called snapshot. unfortunately, they're not communicating to you what the details are. >> as a shopper, i would like to be going out and say here is an option. >> they will talk about the rates. they will not tell you about it.
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the real key in reducing driving is to make sure the relationship is salient. you know where you are doing, the incentive is continuous, and so on. >> the thing i liked about 'sogress of's -- progressive experiment was there was a device to measure how fast you're going in the car and you were rewarded if you were theoretically safer. >> i think lisa captured it eloquently. i also endorsed the concept, but there are three elements. one is the consumer not seen the full impact of the choices they make. the second is not being able to make the choices. you might be able to see opportunities, but if you have high interest rates or are
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locked in and another way, you may not be able to make those choices. finally, they have to be a complete package. it cannot just be pay as you drive. it has to be an amalgam of things that bring the costs down. >> let's take more questions. yes. over here. thank you. >> so, the pay as you drive i think is part of a big cost subsidy issue. i am curious what your opinions are on how much can or should energy policy correct any policies already existing? i guess i am willing to pay a little more to cross-subsidize people by actually need that subsidy, but not people who are just driving for fun and have disposable income. i would also be willing to pay more taxes for the same purpose.
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>>. -- the other 1%. [laughter] >> howdy square what energy policy can do to correct inequalities? >> if we could move and a direction that reduces costs, we have much more wiggle room to correct some of these inequities at different levels. that is part of having solutions to the extent that we have more fuel-efficient cars or pay as you drive that spreads insurance out. the effected we of low interest -- to the extent we of low- interest loans available, we are able to address this in a much smarter fashion and also improves the robustness of the economy. we of nowhere to go but up in that regard. i think we have the best of both
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worlds. we can increase the -- improve the costs. >> i do not have a great answer to that very good question, and it is one that i struggle with. i recently did an entry on my blog, talking about how if you look good guess prices over the last six months or so, they have come down by about 30 cents, and if you take the rule of thumb that every cent of gas price is up or down about $1 billion multiplied across the country. thinking in terms of the current economy and the slack their in, i was talking about this as a stimulus in the sense that people now have $30 billion more disposable income. then, i said is this a good thing? that essentially means that
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folks are back to driving more, and if you follow that through you get too conservative ideology, i am not saying it is right or wrong, but it is quite dominant that our goal should be to diminish the cost of fossil fuel so people have more disposable income -- drill, drill, drill. so, one of the things that happens when you start getting into measures that i think are very important -- the price of carbon, for example -- you have cbo studies that say here are the distributional impact, and they really take a whack out of those who are of the income scale and have less ability to escape the incidence of the tax. so, the liberals, the progressives in the corporate tax debate talk about taking some of the income and rebidding
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it to lower income people to offset that. now, you are into a pretty .omplex thing so, i think it is a very tricky thing. the way all around it, again, is very robust investments in adequate mass transit that are paid for, in part, by taxation on fossil fuels. to me, that squares the circle, and solves the problem i just raised. >> i think this is one of the places we disagree to a certain extent. i think one of the issues as we put more costs into the price of fuel is that we really need to address the financial impediments to change, and that means. robust finance -- that means a very robust financing program
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that steers people clearly toward more efficient vehicles. i also think that as we see a large number of electric and hybrid vehicles come into the market we are moving into a two- tiered system in which the people who have money can move away to a radically different consumption level, and the people who do not are pretty much stuck behind, and we have this segmenting of reaction. i also want to pose, kind of, a question. over the last year, the obama administration has tried to deal with gas prices in a couple of different ways. one of the most striking was the use of the strategic petroleum reserve, and try to use that with the international petroleum reserves to try to give a signal back to the market. when of the completely
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unexplored areas for policy is what if you got consumers to respond more? what'd you were saving them money, -- what if you were saving them money at the same time? one question we did not ask in skip's debt is how much is consumer numbness to prices actually involved in the upward trend? if we could build in reaction from consumers, would we be able to moderate these prices a little bit? i do not know. i think it is worth exploring. i also think it is worth exploring for different metropolitan areas to think about teaching people to be more eclectic, and to reduce their spending when prices are high because it would reduce the ability to spend locally.
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gives people a feeling of efficacy, basically. the first guy in this presentation -- or, the second guy, he said something to the affect of "they have got us by the gonads." people have a strong feeling about gas prices. on a local level and a broader level if we give people the tools to respond we might see dramatic changes in prices as well. are there other questions? yes, the guy in the back. >> sort of changing the subject a little -- i'm very interested in the chart above world oil prices. we have this huge spike in the 1970's, the last decade, and
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steadily declining prices in between for close to 20 years, and it was a time of rapid economic growth, relatively speaking. i am old enough to go back to the early-1980's, in the wake of the oil shocks of the 1970's, and i would suspect that if you look at reports in that era they would see an increase in prices into the future, and that proved to be absolutely wrong. it is not that i believe in drill, drill, drill. industrial structure has something to do with all of this. the amount of while lead is all there and recoverable in the short and medium -- oil that is out there and recoverable in the short and medium-term you have cartels that -- term.
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you have cartels that control behavior and can exercise power. as i listened to all of this, we have these goals, whether it is efficiency, or getting more income into people's hands, getting them out of their hour- long commute, you take all of that, and you have this other thing is that trying to manipulate those policies can be undermined by the structure we have. i'm curious about what policies you think need to be taken there to achieve any of the other goals you would like to achieve. >> i might open up that thought by recall when i took a look all the way back to 1900 for precisely reasons you raised. the iranian shut off in 1979, or
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more recently, the marketplace that drove up the prices. some of that had to do with constraints, and a lot of uncertainty, but overall the trend is pretty clear when we look at 1900 to the current day. we are seeing resources -- in 1900, for example, when we used 1 barrel of oil to use more -- to produce more oil, we got about 100 barrels of the ground. in 1970, we were looking at more like 45 barrels or 50 barrels. more recently, we start to see returns of marginal units, eight to ten, so it is getting harder to produce even as the demand is
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going up, and as the refiners ability has fled lined compared to the demand. there is nowhere to go but up. that is why we see colleagues at the eia suggesting we will see a real increase in real dollars. that relates to your question -- the industrial structure. that is two-fold. when is how the economy uses energy, and secondly is what is the efficiency in which the point lead into our economic policy. the third might be alternatives to petroleum. all three of those can begin to push down and moderate the price over the long haul to benefits families and the larger economy as well. >> i have only a small point to
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ed. i think the premise of your question is correct, in that there are large competitive inefficiencies associated with the political power of this industry, and i think there are a couple of ideas on the table that could help. the one i like the most are clean energy standards where states require that a percentage has to come from clean energy. california has been a leader in this. it has turned out, as i understand it, that it has actually been pretty effective in generating more activity in clean energy, and a line in the prices -- aligning the prices. i think there is pretty much a parity
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and various states have been talking about imposing these energy standards and i think they make a lot of sense in the same way i like the cafe requirements. i agree with skip's point in his footnote where he says this is the longer term solution but i think those kinds of things put competitive pressures on the fossil fuel industry that are currently lacking. >> we have to end in about a minute because of c-span. i need to ask if there are any other questions. yes? >> i'd like to suggest that it doesn't the differential cost of living in the suburbs versus the cities that causes people to move to the suburbs. it seems to me that especially when you add in the commuting costs of living in the suburbs, the differential perhaps is in favor of living in the cities
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and most people i think move to the suburbs when they start to raise a family and have to think about the educational systems in the suburbs compared to the city schools. so it seems to me that quite apart from this very excellent discussion of prices of gas versus types of cars and amount of commuting, it seems to me and this is beyond what your data has talked about, that increasing the educational cities opportunities and levels would keep many more families in the cities and cutting out all these costs and having more time to be together without the long commuting. >> that's a wonderful point to end on in that what starts as a discussion of gasoline, what you broaden it, becomes deeply existential.
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this is partly about the kids and part of the reason people move is for the education system and it's also part of why they will live quite far from their job, because they're looking for something for their kids but the underlying thing is that we use gasoline to overcome other barriers in our system and those overcome the lack of credit, we drive further to overcome lack of credit. we drive further to deal with different sorts of school systems. we also end up with home healthcare workers driving further to take care of people and gasoline has always been, as you mention, for 20 years it was relatively cheap -- it has been the elasticity in the system that allowed us to get things done even as things were getting out of control and what we really need to start doing is figuring out how to put the elas
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tassity back into elasticity, i suppose. if you have thoughts about where this research should go, please come and talk to me or contact me by email. i really see this as an ongoing conversation and project to look at this issue. thank you. and thank you very much to jared and to skip. this was a really interesting. [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up tonight on c-span at 8:00 eastern, our series, "the contenders," this week looking at the 1940 presidential campaign of republican wendell wilke.
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on c-span 2 at 8:00, herman cain on his 999 tax plan. and another look at the new america foundation on gasoline prices and a ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of former senator bob dole's service in congress. he was sworn into the house of representatives in 1961. among those speaking at the event, pat roberts, current health and human services secretary, kathleen sebelius, and the guest of honor, bob dole. that gets underway at 6:45 eastern at the u.s. chamber of commerce in washington. until then, a discussion from this morning's "washington on what's ahead for the u.s. economy. >> welcome to our america by the numbers segment. this morning, we'll look at america by the numbers, how the
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census department looks at the economy. william bostic jr. is the census program's associate economic programs director joined by ken simonson, chief economist at the associated contractors of america. thanks so much for being here. when i was doing research, i learned something interesting about the associated general contractors. they were started by president wilson? >> that's right. in world war i, the president got together different groups of businesses but contractors were order toy important in build facilities to enable the u.s. to gear up for the war. >> we're going to not talk about history so much as the current state of our country and one might scratch their head and wonder why the census bureau is involved in pressuring the economy. how do you do it and why? >> the census bureau has been in measuring the economy for quite some time. it's well known for conducting a
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population census so your viewers will get an appreciation and fully understand the critical role that the census bureau plays. we conduct an economic census and a census of governments in years ending in 2 and 7 and that is the foundation for actually the business statistics for the u.s. statistical system because it also serves as the frame for our business samples and also that we're talking about the source for g.d.p., which is benchmarked every five years from the quarterly programs and process is actually done by the bureau of economic analysis. so it's a source data and it's the foundation for all of our programs. and we conduct over 100 surveys, monthly, quarterly and annually, and in that group are the principal economic indicators. >> we have on screen the major
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economic indicators that you and economists like yourself look at. they include new residential construction, advanced monthly sales for retail and food services, u.s. international trade in goods and services and durable goods, manufacturers shipments inventories and orders. we're going to be looking at some of those numbers right now and have you interpret them for us and what they mean for the economy. starting with housing, the real estate sector has been looked at as a key to economic recovery in this country. this statistic looks at single family and multifamily housing starts from january 1996 to september 2011 and you can see how this trend kept going up and up and up and into 2008, the big decline. what are we seeing in these numbers here? >> you're seeing that the residential construction report, it's a joint release by the census bureau and the department of housing and urban development. so this particular chart, you
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see where it showed a dramatic decrease from 2006 and that was the peak of the housing boom. so the decline started actually two years before the recession, so the peak point was january 2006 where housing starts were at a level of 1800 and now it's down to 425 in september of 2011, which is the most recent data. let me put some things in context in the way of definitions. housing start is when excavation for the foundation begins. single family is defined as detached housing or a townhome, and then we're talking about multifamily which is apartments or condominiums. so the residential construction has been very slow to recover from the housing bubble. >> mr. simonson, as an indicator
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of the state of the economy, of course what has happened, there are so many foreclosed properties in the market and now there are empty houses, especially in certain regions of the country, so there's a glut on the market of available properties. how does this statistic serve as an indicator for the state of our economy right now? >> it's a very important indicator. it's issued in tandem with a count of building permits issued for new houses and multifamily units and together those indicate whether the housing industry has begun to start up activity. the single family had that persip tus drop you saw, 75% decline from 1.8 million starts down to 425,000. the multifamily kept going a little longer so that did help some aspects of the construction industry and also
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of the many industries that depend on housing -- building materials, lumber, colonel -- concrete and in the case of some of the high rise multifamily, things like elevators, roofing materials. it also is an indicator for industries that depend on home occupancy such as furniture, furnishings, carpeting. in the case of single family, in particular, lots of landscaping, yard and garden care, materials and equipment. so many people are looking at that housing starting if to get a sign of when things have turned around. certainly there is still a huge overhang of houses on the market, houses in the foreclosure process and houses that owners would like to sell but they've been discouraged because it takes so long or the price is so low. nevertheless, home building can operate a little separately from existing home sales because someone who's ready to buy a
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home may want it in a different location or a different configuration from what they see out in the market. host: we're going to open our phone lines for a discussion on the state of the economy. many of you call us regularly because you're involved in some of the sectors of the economy we're looking at today, home and housing, construction, retail and the like. if you'd like on ask questions about that sector of the economy or share your experience, we your participation. we'll put the phone number on the screen. you can also send us a tweet or email. we have to go through these numbers quickly. but the two states on one side of the coin that you've pulled out here on building permits, california and florida, particularly hard hit, and you've contrasted them for us with north dakota and wyoming. what are the stories behind these four states and why they tell different parts of the story. >> california and florida have experienced a boom and bust prior to the recent recession. in florida, there was a boom with the condominium sales and
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that had to do with the opening of disney world and in california, we are showing that that bust is exactly very similar to the trend from the recent secession. north dakota and wyoming are two states that have fared better during the bust time of 2007 and 2010 than when they were in the boom period. so north dakota is 14% higher during the 2007-2010 period and 9% higher for wyoming so they're just doing better in regard to most other states. your business, do you understand the why or just the what? >> we actually try to investigate to get some aspects of what's driving the numbers. in this particular case, it seemed like there are employment opportunities happening in north dakota and wyoming in the oil
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production activity. that's what seems to be driving the new home surge. host: a general question, we should have started here. almost every one of these statistics shows the big decline in the 2008, during the recession, but in almost every stat we're looking at, it's beginning to uptick. are things beginning to change? are there signs of growth overall in the economy by these measurements? >> there definitely are signs of growth. you mentioned i'm the vice president of the national association for business economics. that's a professional association for anybody who uses economic information in their work, whether it's data such as census and bureau of bureau of r statistics data, people who have to do forecasts for their company or for the economy as a whole, people who are analyzing policy like here on capitol hill, not just titled economists or people with an economics degree. but at our annual meeting last month in dallas, i'd say there was a lot of pessimism because
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that were coming out of census and other sources during the summer looked like the economy was really slowing down. in the last six weeks, that has turned much more positive and housing statistics are one of the things that have definitely gotten better. both the single family, a little bit better. multifamily is moving way up. host: and this is a related slide. inventory of housing units under construction from january 1996 to september 2011. what more do we need to know about this? >> the under construction inventory is at the lowest point since the census bureau began collecting this data was which in 1968 and at the end of 2008, what happened was the single family under construction actually fell below the multiunit family under construction for the first time since 1975. mean,what does that really, that number, that the single family fell below?
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guest: it shows how few people were willing to buy a new home at that time and the homebuilders did a good job of managing their inventory so they actually continuously cut the number of homes they were starting and we have a fairly reasonable ratio of homes offered for sale to homes under construction now. that's one of the statistics that census doesn't highlight but business analysts looking at the health of housing, home building companies, or others who want to know how long before things really pick up, that's one of the things that they can gleen from these census statistics. from the associated general contractors of america, our members don't build single family but there's a lot of follow-on construction. if you get a lot of single-family home construction,
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you'll have additional schools, playgrounds, fire and police and public structures. you'll probably get more retail going around those single family. so this is a tremendous important statistic in many ways. host: one more chart and we'll get to calls. this is on median sales prices of new single family homes and it shows what we've been seeing in the newspapers that prices are declining and across the united states and you've highlighted western region and southern region of the united states. guest: those two regions represent 75% of all new single family sales since 1996 but typically what you hear, price decline in the newspaper, is actually for existing home sales. and those numbers are put out by the national association of realtors. host: but this suggests that with depressive prices on retail, it's affected the price of new housing, as well. guest: that's correct.
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host: a viewer of ours ask this is question about housing prices. can you explain, can expensive housing good or bad or inexpensive housing good or bad? guest: neither one is inherently good or bad. you have to interpret the statistic with a lot of caution because the median measures the price in the middle in terms of counting the number of houses sold above that price, the number below that price, and it can certainly move widely depending whether at any one time you have a lot of home buyers picking up starter homes or moving up to more expensive houses. so this one i think is kind of a loose indicator of the state of the economy. i think it's more interesting to at the total volume of home production in terms of what it means for economic activity. host: this viewer named maverick has a question about the policy for the $8,000 credit for home
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buyers and can you see a direct uptick in housing due to that stimulus? >> guest: i saw it in another related statistic census produces. they put out construction spending and they're attempting to measure the amount of materials and labor that went into projects of all types in the most recent month and we did see an upturn after this really sharp drop in single-family home construction spending. it began in april of 2009, right when first-time home buyer tax credit took effect and as soon as the credit expired a year later, the number plunged again. so clearly homebuilders were thinking they're going to get a boost but they were disappointed at the end of that cycle so they've cut back again. just in the last few months, though, that spending figure has turned up both for single family and as i mentioned, huge jump lately for multifamily, up more
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than 50% on the starts. we're going to see the spending numbers reflect that very soon. host: this viewer tweets to us, assuming a house is an investment has proven to be a bum steer, houses depreciate in terms of value. for our next call from new egypt, new jersey, tilly, you're on the air. caller: my concern is for the new construction. i'm all for the new construction. my concern is, the american dream is people losing their homes. my husband is a contractor. he does paving but he is unable to keep our home now because we're in foreclosure but why build more houses and destroy more dreams, the american dreams. i voted for president obama, i'm democrat, and the congress won't
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let him do what he was supposed to do. host: why build more houses when there are so many existing in the marketplace? guest: i think mr. bostic's figures on starts in north dakota give one answer to that. there never was a big excess of housing in north dakota and now people are moving there to work on the oil shale formation, to exploit the wind that's always been there and turned it into energy and build transmission lines to deliver that, railroad and pipelines. the ag sector has done very well there. the census population figures showed north dakota had a population increase in the last decade which had not been true the decade before. when they get out the 2011 figures, i think they'll show that continuing. so you need new housing in some areas. in areas like new jersey or here in d.c., you see in-fill housing
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where you see a lot that was not developed or maybe it had a commercial use but now people want to live in that neighborhood and you're getting home building there. host: we'll take another couple of calls and then we'll move into retail sales. a call from norman, oklahoma. mike? caller: i was wanting to make the point that all of this construction, when builders are building either the homes or the retail spaces, they're paying taxes on the materials and in some places they're also paying taxes on labor and this is a boom for the states and the localities in that if you put $100,000 worth of materials into a single house, that's taxes -- sales taxes on $100,000. that's the equivalent of, what, five, six, seven families
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earning $50,000 a year. i just wanted to make that point. guest: construction contributes economy in many ways and certainly the taxes that contractors pay on their materials and contribute on labor and the taxes that the works and owners pay on their earnings one way but in addition, of course, once a property is completed and occupied, you start to get property taxes and in fact the decline in the home building and the decline in home prices has really been one of the major that state and local economy government economies are in such bad shape and the associated general contractors does see some pickup happening in various categories of private construction but because of this drag on receipts, particularly property tax receipts, we're still way down on local government spending on things
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like schools and public facilities. host: let's dive into this statistic, monthly sales by retail trade and food services. what does it cover? >> it covers all kind of retail businesses such as department stores, grocery stores, gasoline stations, online retail shopping. so those are just examples. host: are automobiles? car dealersobile, are also included. host: we're seeing trending up and even though there was a dip in the 2008 and 2009, it is up higher than it was before the recession started. guest: it has almost doubled in the last five years but there was one uptick and that was in 2001 where you had zero percent financing on new cars so you had a little uptick there but as you've indicated, like most other sectors, it's declined during the recession.
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going back up. is this considered a hopeful statistic? guest: looking at the data, it does look that it has risen above the pre-resessionary levels. host: even with the number of people unemployed, retail sales are going up. the last caller asked about policy implications. we've had cash for clunkers, cash incentives to buy appliances. we've had a rollback in our taxes, our wage taxes to help stimulate purchases. can you see a cause and effect with people buying more as a result of these policy initiatives in washington? >> certainly the cash for clunkers program which gave people a large break on the price of new cars if they were trading in an old car, that definitely affected the automobile sales for the month or so that that was in effect. and so i think this illustrates
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one way that policy advocates and forecasters alike can make use of census information and one reason that it's so important, that the census be properly funded for these unsexy economic statistics, i don't think any member of congress will ever get leak by saying i help put money into the retail sales survey or let's say the economic census due to come up next year, but it's tremendously important in order to get the policies right for us to have timely and accurate census data and so that's just one example of how the census figures help us analyze what really happened when we had a policy in place. similarly, going back to the housing one, you mentioned the home buyer tax credit. we can see that effect in the census figures but only if they're measured properly really capture what happened and the information gets to us in time to use it.
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host: this number here, retail trade and food service sales, is hard dollars, not units, and because of that, a viewer asked, have the sales doubled or have the costs doubled over time? >> guest: the data is seasonally adjusted and that accounts for whether it's holidays, but it's not adjusted for inflation. host: so the answer is we don't know. guest: don't know. a comment onhave that question? guest: seasonal adjustment is one of those things i find always makes my audiences glaze over and yet it's really important. it's one of the ways census is seen by the economic and statistical community as a real leader. there are lots of data series outside of the census bureau but census has the gold standard for this process of taking out the impact you always see because a
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holiday comes in a certain month or because the weather changes. you don't get as much paving activity in january as you do in july in northern states so if you just look at the monthly variation without taking into account normal seasonal effect, you'd be misled. again, it's a way that we really depend on census being adequately funded so that we can get it right in whatever use we have for the information. host: looking at the economy by the numbers, our guests are economists, one at the census bureau, the other in private practice. with you about your view of the economy and how it might compare or contrast with the other statistics. phone numbers will be on the screen. you can send us a tweet or email, as well. the numbers are divided by regional zones so eastern and central one part of the country and mountain and pacific, our other phone line number. going back to this chart and this is a question for you, mr. simonson, this viewer says,
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the chart doesn't look like cause and effect. it looks like normal economic cycle and recovery, meaning, nothing really helped. guest: this is a great example of why you need to look below the top line. this is the top line in that it adds up all retail sales. census actually provides 20 or 30 different cuts where that retail sales figure came from. and on some of their other series, for instance, the construction spending that i use for the associated general contractors of america, if you go into the website for that, you can find 150 different categories and so, yes, people did spend more on cars during the month that the cash for clunkers program was in effect but they didn't necessarily increase their spending by the same amount. they cut back in other areas. so it somewhat washes out when you look at the aggregate number and that's why it's really important to look below the top
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line on census or any other data series if you can. host: despite the uptick, the viewer tweets to us, we're doing just well, can't you just feel it, home sales, anybody having that warm tingle yet. we're talking about the state of the economy with our guests. ed, you're on the air. caller: i'd like to ask both of the guests, what is the single thing they would recommend the obama administration do? would they recommend he continue spending or would they recommend some other -- something else other than what he's been doing? thank you. host: mr. bostic, at the census department, are you allowed to comment on policy questions? >> s? guest:no, i'm not. guest: let me answer from the standpoint of the company that pays me. it's the trade association for the construction industry, associated general contractors of america. we see a mixed situation.
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we think that you have to distinguish between investment and other kinds of spending. i think anybody who's out on the roads these days knows that we need to be putting more into roads and bridges, other kinds of infrastructure. we've really fallen behind, also. and it really applies to our intellectual capital, too. so the census is one of those areas that i would protect the spending, but clearly we can't go on with $1.3 trillion deficits so i would like to see a comprehensive overhaul of the tax system. that's not a.g.c.'s policy but ken simonson talking from nearly 40 years of watching washington policy and the erosion of the tax base. host: houston, texas, this is frank. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm calling as a commercial and
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industrial realtor and also with a background in development and project management. and my point and question basically is that i hear nothing, absolutely nothing in the general media, about the stoppage of funding for commercial and industrial moneys from banks and i find that quite troubling. the question i have is through different associations and membership discussing the looming commercial inventory that's in default that is on the back burner that known mentions and what impact that has not only on our economy but also the commercial construction industry. thank you. guest: i'll take a crack at that. i'm not a banking economist, but
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certainly the construction industry, part of it relies heavily on developers being able to get financing and what we've heard for three years now is that banks are turning developers down cold. on the other hand, we still have very high vacancy rates on retail and office properties so i think it's understandable that a banker is not going to let a developer got -- get a huge loan to put up a new building when the one next door is vacant. we are seeing improvement in various segments. the warehouse segment, that has come back substantially in the last few months. i think that office and retail will be some of the slowest. but there are other types of construction that don't depend as heavily on bank financing, manufacturing, hospitals and universities generally finance
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either directly or they go to the investment market for commercial paper or for tax exempt financing in the case of some hospitals and universities. those markets have recovered much better. so there are a lot of questions about how you cure the banking system but fortunately it hasn't stopped all construction activity. host: back to retail sales. this particular chart from census looks at monthly sales by vehicle and parts dealers and i'm sure in subsequent ones you break it down between the two. for used cars and repairs, et cetera. host: so generally, the automotive sector in our economy has been a great focus of debate. we've had a lot of turmoil and the companies and the like. what's been happening when you look at the numbers? guest: as i mentioned earlier, you see the uptick in 2001, zero
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percent financing. then you'll see an uptick in july of 2005 where manufacturers offered a program discount for their employees. so you see that uptick. 2007, 2008, 2009, you see the downward trend because of the recession and then as ken mentioned, you see the effect of the cash for clunkers program in august of 2009. and in 2011 we had the japanese tsunami and the earthquake so sales were dampened slightly but september numbers show an increase. they're back up to reasonable level from those few months. host: but the difference now, 68.8 billion versus 82 billion at the height of your measurement in 2005. what more should we know about automotive sales? >> this is a case where there is very good private sector coverage and a little more
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timely than sense. census. we rely on census for verification and more completeness but this is an industry where there are few producers, there are large, sophisticated in terms of financial and reporting system and so this is an area that fortunately we have some other sources of information. host: this chart, monthly sales by gasoline stations shows a drop in the 2008 and 2009. we stopped buying gas. i'll ask the same question before. this isn't gallons or units but how much is spent, so it reflects gas prices, doesn't it? guest: exactly. when you see the $46.7 billion during the recession, we had high oil prices and it's reflected in the gasoline sales. then oil prices, they decreased see theantly and you drop but now as the oil prices have gone up, you'll see we are
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almost approaching the $46.7 billion level which was at the peak. so you have the ebb and flows of demand and also of prices and so you get a reaction on the demand aspect as prices typically increase. host: call from virginia beach, virginia. this is david. go ahead, please. caller: thanks for taking the call. my concern is the approach in which the economists seem to be putting their data together. i appreciate the graphs and charting. however, why can't it be more of a proactive data information gathering instead of a reactive? it seems as if we're getting data and we have to look at the trend of history instead of getting data and projecting what we need to be doing. for example, the lady you had on the air talked about the young generation and how they're
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breaking records going to the voting polls. and a lot of trend data is based on the baby boomers but there's a baby boomer generation coming that if i'm not mistaken is far bigger than the baby boomer generation. host: the millenial. caller: did they bring those numbers into their analysis. host: for both of you. guest: our indicator programs are monthly programs and we collect the data of sales. we don't do forecasting. we leave that to the economists and the decision makers to evaluate the health of the economy. so what you're seeing here are trends and it's often you can't necessarily look at one month, and you need to look at the trends to see how the economy is doing over time.
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guest: absolutely. business economists and policymakers, they need to have the best possible database and data history to work from and i think it's important to have an agency that concentrates all of its resources on doing that and doesn't scatter them into also doing forecasting. forecasting is much more controversial and, frankly, most people approach it with some kind of policy agenda or some sort of assumptions built in. and we all need to have a set of numbers that we can agree on before we go out and disagree as economists are so famous for doing. so the census should stick to its job and congress should give it enough funding so it can produce the best possible numbers we can have. in my area, for instance, with construction, one way in which census had to cut back was dropping a series on residential
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additions and replacements, improvements to existing homes. those numbers are frankly much les reliable than the census would like and it causes frustration for people trying to track total construction spending, that they have to adjust their estimates each time they go forward. host: this tweet from the sasha. hey, america, go shop, go buy a home. wonder, as economists overall, whether or not consumption which is what most of these charts are -- whether it's homes or retail or food -- is a real indicator of the health of our economy. guest: it's absolutely two of the most important measures of the current state of economic activity and where we are compared to where we were a month or a quarter or a year or five years ago. it's not the be all and end all. we're going to get into other statistics in a minute for trade
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and investment in capital goods, durable goods. those are also important indicators of how we're doing in terms of the global picture and the business investment side of the economy but these two, housing and retail sales, are extremely important. host: as we look at these numbers, you should know that the president is planning to sign the free trade agreement that congress passed last week today in washington, d.c. it looks at both imports and exports. what's the story behind the chart. guest: u.s. trade has climbed upwards with two exceptions and that has occurred during the of 2001 and the recession in the most recent recession and in both cases also the trade deficit actually also declined. but as we have -- can see on the chart now, the more recent
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decline was considerably pronounced in the recent recession but the trade deficit from a high of $66 billion during this recession down to a low of $25.5 billion so now the trade for exports actually have rebounded and we are exceeding the pre-resessionary levels and what we look at is that imports and trade deficit are well, but at a slower pace than exports. host: mr. simonson, what should we been these numbers? guest: it's easy to jump to the wrong conclusion about them. to me, it's important that they're both going up. we don't have to see the gap go to zero or reverse into a trade surplus. it's not even necessarily a red flag if the gap widens for a period. the u.s. economy has benefited
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from exports but consumers certainly benefit from imports, too. and i think that having open trade and getting these free trade agreements should hope -- open trade further with more countries. it means we're a more nimble economy, using our resources the most efficiently. host: next question is from lanny in san antonio. good morning. caller: yes. how are we going to keep our money flowing so the banks can loan it out, a mortgage company with lend money to build homes for commercial buildings? the flow of money has completely ceased and freddie mac and fannie mae kept it going. - it is a circle that goes around and comes around so we got to get it back. otherwise, there won't be new
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builders, there won't be new commercial. bring it back and don't pay the investors compound interest. if the f.h.a. loan was made for 30 years, the investor got his initial money back in 11 and he had 19 years of profit. we got stop that. guest: there's no question that the banking system went too far in how it was treating mortgages before the financial meltdown of 2008, and we've gone to another extreme in terms of making it much harder for people qualify for mortgages and for developers to get money for commercial projects. i think that there is no quick fix to that but we are seeing signs that both private residential and some categories of private nonresidential construction are improving and i think we'll continue to do so through 2012 and hopefully
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beyond. host: if you're interested in the economy beyond the census numbers we're look being at this morning, the census bureau gathers this information and publishes them under the tab of economic indicators. what can people learn from this particular aggregation? guest: they can put all of the economic indicators together and look at various segments of the economy to be able to evaluate and assess how well these particular sectors are doing. they are snapshots of the economy and you can look at one place on our website. host: do you know whether or not the general public is likely to access this information or is it more for professional economists like yourself? guest: the census bureau gets a huge number of hits from all sorts of folks. economists like me download this
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data the minute it comes out. certainly the wall street folks trying to pick stocks based on indicators, they're on top of it immediately. but there are thousands of students and academics and members of the general public who go to the census economic website every day. host: huntsville, alabama, good morning to william. you're on the air. caller: thank you. question is, i don't know if this is in your realm of expertise, but are there any figures on the unemployment rate of ex-sex offenders. host: there was a bit of breakup in your question. would you repeat it? caller: unemployment for ex-felons, specifically sex offenders. guest: that would not be on the
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census bureau. the bureau of labor and statistics has unemployment data and some of that is collected by census survey takers. in addition, the department of justice has a lot of statistics on people who have been through the criminal justice system. it's not an area that i work in, though. host: want to put on a chart. national export initiative, 2000 to 2014. what is the export initiative? guest: it was introduced by president obama in 2009 and the goal is to double exports in five years. so we're looking and we kind of monitor the export rate so doubling exports required an annual growth rate of about 14.7% based on our 2009-2010 data. so we've actually achieved a
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16.7% growth from the 2009-2010 total export. so going forward, we need an average of 14.3% and so for the next four years to achieve the goal. where we are looking through august of 2011, we are actually averaging an annual growth arrest 15.8%. so we are well above the 14.3%. host:can you talk about the national export initiative from the policy standpoint and what it's intended to do, where the are generated? guest: exports are an important of the u.s. economy. we're less dependent on exports than some smaller economies or some of the resource producing economies or the developing countries like china. but nevertheless, in this recovery, exports have certainly
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outstripped the growth of domestic sales, a 14% to 16% growth rate is one of the strongest pieces of the economy and that shows up in the estimates of gross domestic product that another agency, the bureau of economic analysis, reports on. they'll be providing the first estimate of what happened in the third quarter next week and those figures are going to be very closely watched by economists and policymakers, also. export, it's fine to have a goal like that. it depends partly on policies like the trade agreements you mentioned that the president is going to sign, like removing other barriers, perhaps limited incentives but if you're providing an incentive to exports, you're taking money away from something else and
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personally i'd rather see the market making the decision as to whether we want to be investing in exports or in some other area. host: the next slide is our top 10 export trading partners -- canada, mexico, china, japan, u.k., germany. and imports, china, mexico, japan, germany and the u.k. why does census bureau keep this data? >> with the collection of all of the trade information, we often will get questions to look at with the top importers and exporters with our trading partners. host: how long has china been in the number one position? guest: 2007 marked the first year china surpassed canada as our leading import trading partner. >> you can find the rest of this online aton c-span.org as we take you now to a ceremony honoring former dole at the u.s.
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chamber of commerce building in downtown washington, d.c. you're watching live coverage right here on c-span. >> as a member of the u.s. house of representatives and the u.s. senate. i'm honored to be co-chairman of tonight's event and like all of you here, i'm honored to be a friend of bob and elizabeth dole. first, i'd like to recognize tonight's special guests on the stage here tonight with me. of course, our honorees, senators bob and elizabeth dole. [applause] former u.s. senator don regal, of michigan. former congressman jim flattery from kansas, senator pat roberts also from the great state of kansas. the secretary of the department of health and human services and former governor of kansas, kathleen sebelius,
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dr. bernadette little, chancellor of the university of kansas, and mr. william b. lacey, director of the dole institute of politics. i'd also like to thank our honorary chairman and co-chairman tonight, former presidents george h.w. bush and william clinton and harry reed and mitch mcconnell. special thanks to u.s. chamber of commerce for hosting this event. i'd like to recognize and thank our major donors tonight, bob and elizabeth dole, the general electric foundation, phil ruffin, bechtel foundation, the honorable donald rumsfeld. thank you all, major donors.
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[applause] like to introduce michael siadela who will sing our national anthem. michael is now a professional entertainer. he received his b.a. in economics from john hopkins and j.d. from university of virginia law school. on the dole 1996 campaign tour, mike was the chief baggage handler. little did we know that michael was not only the smartest but also the most talented staff person on the airplane. without further ado. ♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed ♪ at the twilight's last gleaming ♪
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♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ thru the perilous fight ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rocket's red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome former congress jim slattery. >> senator bob dole, senator elizabeth dole, linda and i are just delighted to join all of you this evening in this salute to the leader. you are the leader, senator dole, and it's great to be with you this evening and also to join in the effort to support a national monument, a national institution that happens to be located in lawrence, kansas, the dole institute of politics. thank you all for coming and supporting this this evening. at the dedication of the dole institute, senator dole said that he wanted to encourage a
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kind of politics and i quote, "where conviction co-exists with civility and the clash of ideas is never confused with a holy war." thanks to chancellor little and to bill lacey, the dole institute is a vibrant and active learning center today at kansas.ersity of they are fulfilling the mission, senator dole, by promoting political and civic participation in a bipartisan and balanced manner as you directed. i recently had an opportunity to attend an event at the dole institute that was honoring former president yushchenko from ukraine and it was encouraging this evening in thrurns see a capacity crowd enthusiastically
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engaged in a question and answer session and conversation with this intriguing international leader. as a battered but proud member of the minority party in kansas, i am delighted to be here this evening and i thank you all for joining linda and me -- i firmly believe that democracy will be enhanced by the important work going on at the dole institute and would like to recognize bill lacey and the chancellor for the kind of leadership they're providing at this institute. let's give them another round of applause. [applause] bob, kansasans trusted you to represent them in washington for 35 years and you never betrayed
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their trust and many of us wish you were still a leader in the united states senate, right? how wonderful it would be to see senator dole working his magic in the united states senate today. bob, i remember in 1983 i had just got elected to the congress for the first time, candidly, i was looking over my shoulder at you wondering how bad and how hard senator dole would come at me in the next election out in kansas and it was interesting because our first vote, the first tough vote we had was the social security reforms of 1983. and i've often thought back to that time and compared it to today because the social security trust fund was bankrupt. they were saying that checks would be late by april or may, and everybody was a little nervous. and that's putting it mildly.
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a lot of people were terrified because they knew what had to be done. they knew we were going to have to change the eligibility age which we did. we raised it. they knew we were going to have to cut benefits, which we did. and they knew we would have to raise revenues, which we did. senator dole joined with president reagan, speaker o'neal, danny rostenkowski, chairman of the ways and means committee, and led us through that mess and challenging time and one of the things, bob, that i will always deeply appreciate about you is that, yes, bob dole was a partisan leader. that was his job. but the thing that i deeply respected about him was that when the doors closed and the tough decisions had to be made, you could always count on bob dole doing the right thing. you could always count on bob dole looking at the facts and doing what the facts required. and i think the reason he did is because this man loves this
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country more than he loves his political party, and that, to me, is the sign of a great patriot and that's what i consider you to be, bob. [applause] let me just conclude because bob said don't talk more than two minutes. i don't know whether i've gone over that or not, bob, but let me just say that i salute bob dole for what he did on the battlefields of italy in world war ii. i salute you for 35 years of remarkable public service to the people of kansas and to the people of this country. and i also salute you, bob, for being one of the toughest human beings i've ever met. i also want to say that i salute this man because he has a heart as big as kansas. and that's the thing that i
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really, really appreciate about him. bob, i treasure our friendship. thank you for being here. thank you for supporting the dole institute. >> ladies and gentlemen, >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome former u.s. senator don reagle. >> if bob or a leader in the senate, there would be a lot more happening. he yielded me his time when he left. i will not sit all. i will start with the tributes elizabeth gave to you in the other room. it was a tribute it will be hard for any of us to match.
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only a select few of our national leaders in our long history as a nation ever rise to a truly extraordinary level of public achievement over their lifetime. you have one sitting here in bob dole. if you think back in the last 150 years, not a big group. he is one of them. i have been privileged to serve with bob in the house and the senate. it was 44 years ago in the u.s. house when we first started working together. later, for 18 years in the united states senate. in the house, we were in the same party. i have been privileged to see first hand in both places the
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exceptional intellect. there is nobody stronger or tougher. his decency and his razor wit and his commitment to be brought public good. it is important to try to infuse into other young people, young people to make this democracy and this government work. nobody has a monopoly on the good ideas or the good ways to solve problems. we have to sit down together and talk it out and find the best answers. i believe bob would have been a great president. he would have been a great president because of his talent and his goodness of heart. he would have used those things to guide this nation. he would have done it with his deep belief in keeping our country ahead. we do not leave our wounded behind. what did they are in our society
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with disabilities or without food or they are returning veterans needing our help -- in those instances and others, he personally led the fight to help all of them advance and have a decent chance to live a full and productive life. what better work is there for any of us to do than that? the passage of the americans with disabilities act which never have happened without bob's leadership. if you see someone in a wheelchair or someone who has difficulty moving down the street or doing what they are about to do, think of him. we would not have the situation we have today if it were not for him. he cares about people, and that is all people, especially the little people. we need more leaders like that today who think and act in terms
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of our whole nation and not just part of it. he also supports the basic needs of people in other countries through the food for peace program, which serves over 3 billion people worldwide since its inception in 1964. his commitment to global food security was awarded the prestigious global food prize in 2008 along with senator george mcgovern. as great leaders do, he attracted to the great helper is along the way. the great staff got everything arranged here. of course, the enormous love and sustaining support from elisabeth and many others who could be named. i want to thank all of you here tonight for supporting the dold institute. -- dole institute.
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it is one thing to say it is a good thing and another thing to write a check to make it happen. his long and successful effort to build a world war ii memorial on the wall -- the mall to honor the sacrifice of the greatest generation was not about bob dole. those of us who know bob dole know that. he never wanted or needed monuments to himself. his legislative and public service record are the indelible marks the have made for all to see. with the world war ii memorial, his purpose was to recognize and honor all of those anonymous legions of men and women, dead or alive, who served and protected the future of us and all of mankind. he wanted us to remember them and be prepared to make our own
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investment and sacrifices when we are called upon. that is what he is all about. he has made a giant mark on the important history of our country. he has answered every call to service. he deserves the honor he is getting tonight and on other evenings. in the rotunda of the u.s. capital -- and for those of you who may not have had a chance to there stands a statue of former president gerald ford. take a look at the quotation from former house speaker tip o'neill on the base of that statute. it is on the left side of the base, by the way. [laughter] it is a truly wonderful bipartisan tribute to gerry ford
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for his effective leadership in pulling our nation together at a difficult time. to me, when i saw it and read it, it says so much about how things should work in our congress between our parties, the way bob dole made them work. i mention this about gerry ford because tip o'neill was right about jgerry ford. his running mate in 1976 was the man sitting here. we are all privileged to be here at a gathering for a special man. it permits us to gather in a task to carry forward his work. thank you for coming. [applause] >> please welcome the secretary of the department of health and human services, the honorable kathleen sebelius. >> mr. leader, it is my great
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privilege to have a chance to join with fellow kansan, those who -- kansans, those in the congress and the senate who had the privilege of serving with you. i also bring a greeting from another former governor of kansas here in the audience tonight. he wanted to be here as part of this tribute. i was thinking listening to jim and don that i have a father who served in world war ii and then went from military service to community service to public service. i was privileged to marry into the sebelius family.
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one of the action as we -- attributes we have in kansas is the dold institute and your belief that public service is honorable and to engage students in a robust discussion and to make sure the young people love the next generation understand that -- of the next generation understand that humility and honor are needed in democracy. you are a leader in that regard. for that we will always be grateful. i have the opportunity to thank and introduced the chancellor of the university of kansas, my alma mater. i went to k.u. on the eve of the sunflower
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showdown, we are here in washington with great civility. senator roberts could not figure out what the right color was for tonight. [laughter] she came to k.u. as the 17th chancellor just after i left the office of governor in august of 2009. she was in that active search while i was still in the state. i watched people screen a variety of candidates and feel that they had by friday deciliter they had at the university of kansas when they chose the chancellor. i have been able to watch her and interact with her in the 2 1/2 years she has been in that position and watched her continued to grow the university and reach high marks and make sure the university of kansas
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excels in all of its efforts, particularly to focus on the dole institute as a vibrant heart of a democratic dialogue in the great state of kansas. also, to take it to a new national level. the dole institute is renounce all over the country. many people in the fact we have that kind of institution in lawrence, kansas. they do not have a bob dole in various states of the country. they also do not have a dole institute. i thank the chances for making sure that stays as a vital institution. i will introduce the chancellor of the university of kansas. [applause] >> thank you secretary kathleen
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sebelius. it is a great honor for me to be one of the guess here, to be a guest not just from kansas -- guests, to be here not just as a guest from kansas, but to represent someone who is important to the nation and the world and to honor someone who is half of a true d.c. power couple. the diversity of kansas is proud to host the robert dole institute of politics, which honors and continues senator dold's service. -- senatorle makes it-- dole's service. he wanted to be an active place and k.u. has made sure it is
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that. it documents the political career of america's longest serving republican leader in the senate. the archive contains 34,000 separate files with nearly 7000 documents and has welcomed researchers from as far as britain and france. tethe dole institute has featured 146 progress. there are forums, events, seminars for students all designed to bring more people into the civic and civil discourse that the doles have committed their lives to. we have posted president of the united states like george h. w. bush and bill clinton. and far off nations from poland to the ukraine. we have posted leaders in government and politics such as
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the former mayor and california house speaker and fdic chairwoman she liber -- shiela bair. she has the distinction of being both a k.u. graduate and being recognized as one of the most powerful women in the world. we have had commentators like bob woodward and david broder. one of his last appearances was at the dole institute. we give students the opportunity to learn first hand from leaders in the field. those events are bipartisan and have included people like dennis moore and the press secretary to senator dole. i would challenge you to compare the programming at the dole
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institute to harvard and i know you will be impressed with the dole institute. all events are open to the public and conform to the institute's mission of expanding the dialogue. on behalf of the university and on behalf of the dole institute, i want to thank you for your generous support. it is also possible because of the generous personal contributions of the doles themselves. of all the events i have been too, one of the most inspiring is the annual swearing in of new citizens. i make sure that whatever is
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going on, i get to that event. i had the opportunity to attend this events each year since becoming chancellor. it is truly fitting that the newest citizens of our nation take their oath of citizenship at an institute built by and in honor of someone who devoted his life to defending and serving this nation. in recognition of that service, i want to personally solicit a man whose leadership has changed this country, has changed, as live, senator bob dole. -- countless lives, senator bob dole. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome senator pat roberts. >> the high road of humility is
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not mothered by heavy traffic in this town. [laughter] i feel humble to be here on behalf of my leader, the great center and a great man, bob dole. i have several housekeeping duties here. senator warner, where are you, sir? [applause] he is speaking up behind you, bob. show your face. that is required. [laughter] right over there. the other note i have, the chancellor from the university
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of missouri. and the chancellor. we have yet to make up our minds. sorry about that. as anthony said to cleopatra, i am not here to talk. she be applied, i am not -- replied, i am not prone to argue. [laughter] i will just give some random chips off of the block. everyone else has waxed poetic and told the truth about you.
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now it is my turn. my first experience with him was in 1959. i was ready to put cold steel on the enemy at any time. i was in on my father and bob leaned over to me and said, you are going to meet the greatest potential candidate you will ever meet. out came bob. it was a combination of george clooney and tyrone power. i had a talk with him and he took time to talk to a marine. i was tremendously impressed. bob was right. you see what has happened in regard to his public career.
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what a great time we had. i was privileged to be the administrative assistant and served with jim and others in the delegation. we had a great time. the security was not as tight as it is today. ii would always go on the floor and say, what kind of a mood is he in? and they would say, what kind of mood is he ever in? [laughter] we got things done back in those days. we had a time when we had this crazy guy who came in in a cowboy hat from texas. he had this box with him. he said, i have to get this box to henry kissinger.
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sebelius said, i have demands for you, pat roberts. he is a former marine. he opens up the box and i look in and say, what is this? it was a huge ball of tin foil. i said, i just have a top-secret clearance. this is much higher than that. [laughter] i should not be seen that. there is a guy you should go meet. that is bill katz olver in bob dole's office. >> he said, ok. bob dole? i said, you are going to see bill katz. i called the secretaries. i said, we have a guy with a big box and he is going to make a
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big contribution? . [laughter] in he went. i did not answer the phone for about three days. i will tell you how we got things done. right in the middle of the grain harvest, they said they would change the criteria in the way the grain goes across the stale. they had stopped the kansas harvest. by that time, i thought i was somebody. i was a member of congress. i said, we have to put a stop to this. i knew the meeting was held at 10:00. all the agricultural groups -- i told them, we cannot change the criteria. i said, i do not mean to
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interrupt. you are to be at bob dole's office at 1:00 p.m. he is not happy. i have never seen him so frustrated and concerned and angry as stopping the kansas wheat crop. we will see you at 1:00. thank you very much. i would have to sheila and said, how is he feeling? they said, we have a problem. the harvest has stopped and the fds is coming up. they are going to meet at your office at 1:00. at 12:15, they called me up and said, you can tell the senator that we have waited. there is a moratorium until after the -- tell the senator
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that we have waived it. all of us on the house side, we would assume -- they would assume whatever i was for, bob was for. we got some things done. there is another little story and i will quit. this whole thing started when our national committee had a great person from the daily news. huck was driving along in his ancient cadillac. he saw a light on the second floor of the county courthouse. in those days, you would stop the car, close the door, and turn off the light. you did not want to waste any energy. it is mandated now by the administration that you have to
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do that. huck stopped and goes into the courthouse. he goes to the second floor. there he is slaving away at 10:30 p.m. at night. i am the national committee man for the republican party of kansas. he said, you should think about running for public office. he said, i do not know if i am a democrat or a republican. bob said, i think i will be a republican. [laughter] in honor of that tremendous first meeting, it started bob and huck -- they were the godfathers.
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they were coming out of the woodwork. it was a great experience. i want you to have this. this is the last three waves like ball available in the senate. [applause] -- light bulb available in the senate. it does give off heat. they cannot detect you as the source. you know the other ones we have to buy renminbi -- buy are the squiggly things where you cannot read by it. it is like a restroom in the russell vfw. this is the light bulb that started you. that is what i want to give you.
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every time bob goes down to the world war ii memorial, he is a rock star. at absolute rock star. people come in from all parts of kansas. they write down the memories of these veterans who have never talked about this before and put it in the paper and that history is preserved. you either stay away from him quite a bit or you stand right with him and you are part of the rock star group. what is it in a man that would have people come to him from that memorial? somewhat pretty slow and some do not walk. they come up to him with tears in their eyes and say, there is bob dole. bob, you have a gift. you have touched so many lives
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and made them better. we thank you for that, that.ess you for [applause] >> i think i can make my remarks in a couple of minutes. i want to thank you for being here. i want to thank tom.
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i have known him for a long time. i want to thank my friend who works with the chamber. it is a high position job. a lot of people in this office used to work with me in the senate and the house. nobody here who worked with the in the kansas house. that was 1951. i have had a great experience in politics. it was all by accident because we had a democratic law librar ian who passed away a few years ago who was telling me more young people should be involved in politics. she talked me into running for the state legislature and i got elected. i did not know much about politics. i think pat was right.
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i did not know which party to be done to until i looked at the registration. it was a great experience. i really enjoyed it. we got a law passed that gave disabled veterans a preference in parking. they could part in certain spots to make it easier for them to get into the store and all of that. it is not a big legislative record, but i enjoyed it. i decided, maybe i will run for county attorney. they are having trouble finding anybody. i spent about 8 years in the county attorney's office. we never prosecuted anybody. [laughter] it was always pretty quiet in russell, kansas.
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when i was there, every lawyer in town wanted to be county attorney. i ran against seven different democrats and republicans. they had to draft someone to fill the job. when i left. a democratic friend of mine became county attorney because they could not get anybody else to run. that is how you get started. there was a fellow who nobody knows here. he was about a foot taller than me. he always had a big hat on. he was represented the sixth congressional district. we are down to four now. he was going to retire from congress. we had some good friends and its
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candidates. keith sebelius was one. bob dole was one of the people running. people did not know the difference between doe dole and dole. keith said, you drown me in pineapple juice. i had a lot of friends in my home town. they got me started in politics. in my state, they got me started in politics. i think i learned a lot in the hospital after world war ii about getting along with people
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who have different problems and different attitudes. you learn if you work together, you might get something done. i remember daniel and away -- daniel inoye. he weighed 93 pounds. he was a close friend of mine. we came to congress that about the same time. he tells the story that i told him in the hospital that we both should run for congress. i am not sure i never said that. if he thought i did, it is all right with me. and then a chance to replace senator carlson, who was one of the most decent man i ever met.
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they are honoring him next week, a special program for senator frank carlson. he decided that maybe i should be the republican candidate. i was a republican candidate. i was elected and served five terms. something like that. i left the senate voluntarily. but i did not leave politics voluntarily. i kept asking clinton that there should be a recount. i feel that in some of those states, if we have a recap, i could be president. we have become great friends and
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we -- if we have a recount, i could be president. we have become great friends and we get along. the one word that means a lot is trust. you have to be willing to trust one another if you are going to get anything done. if i tell you i will support this and that is all, you are not going to get anywhere. you have to have a little flexibility. i am a man of strong principle. one of them is flexibility. [laughter] sometimes you have to give a little. ronald reagan used to say, give me 70% or 80% and i will get the rest next year. he was not the hard right conservative that some people portray him as today.
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that was a great experience. i left the senate in june of 1996. it was kind of a tearful departure. you have a lot of friends there and staff. if you do not have a good staff, you do not do a good job. i had a good staff and some are here this evening. they never got any credit, but they did most of the work. keeping your word in whatever you do is vital. i remember one day on the senate floor, i offered an amendment to a bill. it was not controversial and it was passed easily. we did not even have a vote. it was a voice vote. then i heard that time-so wanted to offer that amendment -- tom daschle and he wanted a promise
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that he could offer it. i checked and found out he was right and i was wrong. we did what we call it vitiating all of the proceedings -- ev voiding all of the proceedings. we watched it out and he offered it and everything was fine. it seems to me that some of that is missing today, some of the trust and some of the friendship. i do not want to criticize the place that i was all parts of for 30-something years. i think we can do better and i believe we will. people are going to rise up on the democratic and republican side. there are going to be leaders on both sides who will say, i can i get it all, but i will take x.
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the other side will say, i do not want to give all of that, but i will take xy. have a meeting with all of the people working on the bill. i would say, work it out. when you get it worked out, come to see me. it worked pretty well. we got a lot of things worked out. [laughter] i cannot read this. i know it is a great honor to be in the senate. i remember that. [laughter] oh, yeah. this old institute is a great place, too. [applause] that took care of two pages. [laughter]
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i will just close by making certain that if you have any doubt in your mind, none of the money raised here is going to end up in any political campaign. it will end up in the dole institute of politics. that is where it belongs. we were all young once. it is harder for me to remember then you. it means a lot for young people to have this experience. it does not mean a lot to them if we make a b is ao bob dole republican policy group. we work on a bipartisan basis -- make this a bob dole republican policy group. she is in the legislature and does a great job there. it is fitting to say the
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institute, i believe and the chancellor can correct me, is one of the busiest places on the campus. it is in use four out of five nights per week or something. president carter dedicated for me even though i did not voted for the panama canal. [laughter] -- did not vote for a -the did not vote- for for the panama canal. a lot of republicans are going to get some of the candidates on the republican side because obama does not have an opponent
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before november. thank you for your long friendship. it means a lot to me. i have been recovering from a health problem, but i am getting a little better each day. i spent 11 months in walter reed hospital. it is a great hospital. i never thought i wanted to spend that much time there. [laughter] but they got me out of bed and got me on my feet. i can walk around pretty well. i never could write well, so that is not a problem. the bottom line as i see it is, as you go through life, did you make a difference? it does not have to be a difference for a million people. did you make a difference for one person or two person's?
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i tried, in my own little way, to call somebody or do something so i can say at the end of the day, i made a little different in that person's life. i talk to them on the phone. pat mentioned the world war ii memorial, the veterans memorial. we raise $195 million. tomorrow morning, there will be about 300 world war ii veterans in six states who will come at 1030. elizabeth is a great help to me. she will be there and we will try to reach as many as we can. they are your fathers and our grandfathers and the people who really made this country great. thanks for coming. we will see you at the next salute. i am not sure where it will be held yet. [applause]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the director of the dole institute of politics. >> thank you very much. i cannot imagine a greater honor and salute to senator dole and the bipartisan leaders on the floor tonight. it shows what he accomplished in his career. thanks for your support. we appreciate it.
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thanks to mike for organizing a tremendous team to pull this event off. i do intend to talk to mike after tonight. i want to know why i am closing tonight after all these wonderful speakers instead of him. we will talk about that later. thanks to the university of kansas. they have been extraordinarily supportive to the dole institute of politics. we have had some extraordinary guess -- guests. we have had a sitting vice president, a former vice president, two presidents. i hope everyone has picked up our annual report that will tell you what we did over the last two years at the dole institute.
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i hope you will pick that up to show how far we make your dollars goal. i hope you have had a chance to meet my team. if you want to know who they are, they are the individuals who passed out when senator dole said we have programs 80% of the evenings. senator go has a remarkable legacy. it makes our job at the institute easy. it makes out a job an imperative. we feel strongly and passionate about it. thank you all for coming out. thanks for a great evening. we appreciate your support. [applause]
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>> next, we had to the white
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house where president obama announced that all u.s. troops will be out of iraq by the end of the year. previously, the plan was to withdraw combat troops and leave some american trainers behind. the president spoke for about 10 minutes. >> as a candidate for president, i pledged to bring the war in iraq to a responsible and. after taking office, i announced a new strategy to end our combat mission in iraq and remove our troops by the end of 2011. ensuring the success of this strategy has been one of my
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highest national security strategy. i announced the end of our combat mission in iraq. we have removed 100,000 troops. the iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country's security. a few hours ago, i spoke with the iraqi prime minister. i reaffirmed that the united states keep its commitment. he wants the iraqi people to forge their own future. we are in full agreement about how to move forward. i can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. after nearly nine years, america's's war in iraq will be over. over the next -- america's war in iraq will be over. the soldiers will pack up their gear and board convoys on the
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way home. they will leave iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success knowing the american people stand united in our support for our troops. that is how america's military intervention in iraq will end. we are moving into a new phase. as of january 1, there will be a normal relationship between sovereign nations. an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect. the iraqi prime minister and i agreed that a meeting of the higher coordinating committee will convene in the coming weeks. i invited the prime minister to come to the white house in december as we planned the important work we have to do together. this will be a strong and
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enduring partnership. our diplomats and civilian advisers will help iraqis strengthen institutions and make them accountable, build new ties of trade and commerce, health and education that unleash the potential of the iraqi people. a partnership with iraq that contribute to regional security and peace so that other nations respect iraq's sovereignty. as i told the prime minister, we will continue discussions about how we might help iraq train and equip its forces just as we are training and helping assist countries around the world. there will be some difficult days ahead for iraq. the united states will continue to have an interest in an iraq that is stable, secure, and self-reliant. just as iraq is have persevered through war, deals with confident they can build a future where the of their
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history as the cradle of six -- cradle of civilization. here at home, we will have another season of homecomings. our service men and women will be reunited with their families. today, i can say our troops in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. this december will be a time to reflect on all that we have been through in this war. i will join the american people in paying tribute to be more than 1 million americans who have served in iraq, to honor our wounded warriors, 4500 american patriots and the coalition partners who gave their lives to this effort. finally, i will note that the end of the war in iraq brings about a natural transition. we can refocus our fight against al qaeda and achieve major victories against its
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leadership, including osama bin laden. as we removed our last troops from iraq, we are beginning to bring our troops home from afghanistan, where we have begun a transition to ask and security and leadership. when i took office, 180,000 troops were deployed in both of these wars. by the end of this year, that number will become half. make no mistake, it will continue to come down. yesterday marked the definitive end of the gaddafi regime in libya. the u.s. military played a critical role in shaping a situation on the ground in which the libyan people can build their own future. nato is working to bring this successful mission to a close. to sum up, the united states is moving forward from a position of strength. the long war in iraq will come to an end by the end of this
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year. the transition in afghanistan is moving forward. our troops are finally coming home. as they do, your deployment and more training will help keep our military the very best in the world. as we welcome home our newest veterans, we will never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits, and the opportunities they have earned. this includes a listing our veterans in the greatest challenge for united states as a nation, creating opportunities for jobs in this country. after a decade of war, the nation we need to build is our own. an america that sees its economic strength restored just as we restored our leadership around the world. thank you very much. >> from the white house to the
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senate. last night, the senate education committee voted to revamp the no child left behind law. here is an update on the legislation from a congressional reporter. >> she covered the session in the senate this week. why does the senate wants to change the no child left behind lot? >> when it was enacted in 2002, it was an unprecedented breach in education by the federal government. this was a bipartisan plan. it was championed by president bush and the late senator kennedy. they argue that states that get federal money should be held accountable for results. for the first time, states were required to set performance targets and to work to meet those goals. in the nine years since,
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schools, states, teachers have complained that the goals are unrealistic. the sanctions were draconian if they do not meet those goals. there was pressure on congress to change the law. >> what did the senate education committee accomplished in their markup? >> it was a retrenchment of the federal government in the classrooms. no longer will states have to set achievement targets. they still have to test them every year. they do not have goals for achievement. they do not have to meet any goals. they will not face penalties if the kids are not learning what educators think they should be learning. also, originally, senator harken wanted a teacher evaluation measure in there. he wanted to be able to tell the teachers from bad teachers and
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required the states to measure their achievement. that has been wiped out as well. only 5% of the country's worst performing schools will face some kind of federal oversight. they left 5%, the lowest of the low. they would still be subject to some kind of federal oversight. for the majority of schools, the government is hands off. >> the obama administration had already moved ahead on some changes related to the original law. what have they done? >> they are frustrated because this law should have been authorized -- reauthorized four years ago. states are saying, we cannot work with this law. help us. obama authorized the education secretary to work with the states.
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today, they got 39 states and puerto rico and the district of columbia that have indicated they want waivers. the imitation moved ahead with that. that woke up the senate. they decided -- the administration moved ahead with that. that is why we saw all this action of the sudden after that years of inaction. >> how likely is this new education measure to be approved by congress in this session? >> that is a good question. is hard to tell. in the house, the republican leadership has been wanting to do reform of the lot in piecemeal fashion. they have 3 lots that they have gotten out of committee. -- 3 laws they have gotten out of committee. we will have to see what happens in conference and if this one gets passed on the senate floor. we will find out. >> a national staff writer with
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the washington post. you can read her articles on washingtonpost.com >> this weekend onñ?
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in a moment, the light of wendell willkie. then president obama's announcement concerning u.s. troops' withdrawal in a rock followed by a briefing by the national security advisers. -- in iraq, followed by a briefing by the national security adviser. now, live from rushvil

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